REVIEW — Avegant Glyph, Your Wearable Movie and Streaming Video Theater for Travel, FPV Drone Viewing, Home Leisure, or Workstation

REVIEW — Avegant Glyph, Your Wearable Movie and Streaming Video Theater for Travel, FPV Drone Viewing, Home Leisure, or Workstation

Avegant Glyph

$699
Avegant Glyph
6

Overall Rating

6/10

    Pros

    • Very impressive, high brightness, very clear, good contrast display images
    • Headphones produce crisp, high quality audio
    • First class build quality
    • Intuitively easy to set up prior to technical alignment adjustments on eyepieces
    • Great portability for a movie theater/large screen TV like visual experience
    • Can be plugged into almost any modern video output device via mini HDMI cable
    • High degree of versatility to use for multiple different customer use scenarios

    Cons

    • Too bulky, too heavy
    • Relative small field of view (FOV)
    • 720p resolution falls short of industry standard HDTV bar of 1080p
    • Some minor ghosting and strobing issues for some acutely visually aware people

    VERDICT & RATING

    The Avegant Glyph wearable movie and streaming video theater for travel, FPV drone viewing, home leisure, or workstation user scenarios earns a rating in this review of 6 out of 10.

    Rating of the Avegant Glyph:

    • 6 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 = best)
    • With a Nex-gen combination of a 50% reduction in price along with a suite of technology and performance upgrades including slimming the form and weight by 1/3 (1/2 would be ideal)
    • True 1080p HDTV resolution or better (hopefully @ 120Hz), doubling the field of view from 40 to 80 degrees, incorporating more features
    • Automating aspects of the tedious alignment adjustment routine
    • Industry competitive noise-cancelling technology
    • Making the entire product experience more comfortable for hours of continuous use, this new technology platform could earn a rating of 8.5 or above.

    OVERVIEW

    There is a new sheriff in town, folks. It’s called a mobile movie theater or a wearable movie theater, if you will. It comes in the form of two recent product introductions called the Avegant Glyph and the Royole-X.

    This new breed of device introduces an upgraded experience from those of the recent and contemporary suite of “video glasses” developed by Sony withMost promising reviews of Avegant Glyph their HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer, the Icuiti DV920 Video Glasses, the i-Glasses Pro Head-Mounted Display, the ITV Goggles Wideview XL Edition, and the oft promoted and futuristically designed Vuzix Wrap 920 Video Eyewear.

    In this review of the Avegant Glyph, and a related review of the Royole-X, we’ll present the basics of what you need to know to determine if this new technology platform is a must buy decision to enhance the relaxing leisure, entertainment, and productivity aspects of your life.

    Check out our Hands-On Review Playstation Virtual Reality (PSVR)

    The Avegant Glyph was first started in the winter of 2014 as a Kickstarter project backed by 3,331 sponsors who kicked in USD1.5+ million to bring it to life. Originally scheduled for release in the Fall of 2015, it is now available in 2016 through multiple channels as a commercially released product including Amazon.

    In a nutshell, the Avegant Glyph is a futuristic combination of audio headphones and video glasses. It’s not a virtual reality headset, but it comes about as close as any tech platform can without actually dog paddling into the shallow end of the VR pool of headset technology.

    Aside from the combo audio headphone capabilities, a Wikipedia definition of its core technology describes its personal movie theater feature best: “A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD) or retinal projector (RP), is a display technology that draws a raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. The user sees what appears to be a conventional display floating in space in front of them.” [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display]

    This is accomplished using Texas Instruments world famous DLP micromirror array technology that offers “screenless display” capabilities for all manner of consumer electronics devices. The TI DLP tech presents red, green, and blue light images that are precision controlled arrays of beam paths that project and converge onto your eyeball to give you the impression you are seeing an image floating in mid-air. The effect is a crystal clear, pixel-free image for effortless viewing, very much more like seeing than watching, one might say.

    Essential Reading:  Expert Review on Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Experience

    Wearing and watching the Avegant Glyph’s visually stunning action on your eyeballs gives you the bonafide virtual effect of viewing a movie from the dead-center, sweet-spot seat of the movie theater, sans popcorn (unless you make the provisions yourself in situ). Generally, the Avegant Glyph user community reports that the pseudo ‘out-of-body’ visual experience is like watching a 55 to 65-inch widescreen TV in your living room. Actually, Avegant states the settings are similar to a “sweet spot” at 71 feet away from the main screen in your average 52-foot movie theater.

    Essentially, the full panorama of content that you can see on your TV is available to you on the Avegant Glyph. The device also lets you watch 360-degree videos and first-person-view (FPV) drone video action in real time or in playback from an appropriate wireline streaming device.

    DESIGN

    Many users have reported that their first impression of the Avegant Glyph is that it reminds them of a pair of Beats headphones with a headband that sports two eyepieces that beam images onto your eyeballs. Well, that’s a pretty accurate description, one must say. The design is good, but considering the leverage on the Beats design concept, perhaps a bit on the lazy side, as one simply needs to look at the Royole-X design and engineering of their vastly more sophisticated and ergonomically pleasing headband rotation joint.

    The hard plastic headset is all one fixed piece, though you can flip the headband element down or up depending on when you want to be in movie theater mode (down) or audio headphone mode (up), which means the ear muffs turn around your ears when the entire device is rotated. This contrasts with the elegant rotation joint of the Royole-X competitor to the Glyph.

    Avegant Glyph trusted Reviews

    Glyph’s large, over the ear headphone muffs are covered in comfy faux leather padding. There are controls on the exterior of each headphone muff to adjust the sound.

    Read our Hands-On Review:  HTC Vive Virtual Reality System

    You wear the Avegant Glyph as you would a VR headset. However, there is no actual “display” in the headset, meaning there is no LCD or OLED screen that you see. The actual Texas Instruments DLP (digital light projection) technology eyepieces that perform all the precise projection beaming of imagery magic onto your eyeballs are permanently built into an adjustable mechanism embedded in the headband portion of the headphone. Each of two built-in 720p micromirror DLP arrays beam crystal clear video onto each eye.

    A set of four (4) changeable, magnetically attachable nose pads come with the device to enable users with different size noses to fit the Glyph to their best comfort. The entire device weighs in at around 434 grams, almost one pound, which is one of the ergonomics and UX problems with the design. It’s simply too heavy by half a pound for most users.

    The Glyph comes with a and recharging it takes 3+ hours from a wall socket, but it can also be charged vis a USB cable connected to your laptop or portable electric juice box.

    SPECS

    Here are the brief specifications of the Avegant Glyph.

    Avegant Glyph Specs

    Specs
    Field of View

    40 /- Degrees

    Display

    Two 720p MEMS DLP micromirror arrays

    Inputs

    Micro HDMI (audio and video)

    Stereo mini headphone (audio only)

    MicroUSB (charging)

    Battery

    2060mAh Li-Ion (Avegant lists a 4 hour life; in actuality, more like 3 ¾)

    Head Tracking

    9 axis IMU

    This table was created with Compare Ninja.

    FEATURES

    Avegant Glyph ReviewsThe present version of the Avegant Glyph is short on a lot of features the company likely has firmly on their product development and release roadmap for the next two generations of the device. Avegant promised active noise-cancellation in their Winter 2014 Kickstarter campaign, but eliminated it from their first generation device due to prohibitive unit cost issues. Sadly, there is no on-board micro SD card slot port that would enable movies or videos to be played without a cumbersome HDMI cable or HDMI adapter cable.

    Already built-in, yet currently inactive features that await future firmware upgrades are head-tracking and Bluetooth connectivity. The head-tracking is particularly promising in that Avegant has partnered with Jaunt to give users a future ability to look around in Jaunt’s 360-degree videos. The head-tracking also works with the DJI Inspire 1 drone to enable you to mimic the FPV bird’s eye view of the drone itself, looking down on the landscape below.

    The current lack of Bluetooth connectivity, for lack of a firmware/software upgrade, is bothersome to a number of users that report they are particularly entranced with the notion of wirelessly beaming movies and video to their Glyph from their smartphone or tablet without have to take it out of their carryon baggage or purse or bag on a plane flight or train trip or even in a car. The 3D mode currently works with side-by-side/SBS videos and it supports playback from sources such as Playstation 3D movies and YouTube 3D content.

    Essential Reading: Expert Review of Occulus Rift Virtual Reality Platform

     

    SET UP AND ERGONOMIC FOCUSING

    The biggest setback for the clear majority of Avegant’s Glyph user community and potential buyers is the tedious time and effort required to perform all the various little alignment adjustments.   These “tweaks” are necessary for the TI DLP projection mirror arrays to focus the movie/video image correctly for your ergonomically and biometrically unique set of eyeballs, as everyone’s eyes are situated on their head ever so slight or significantly differently from one another.

    As such, the Glyph sports a pair of inter-pupillary distance (IPD) sliders and a pair of DLP eyepiece projection focus dials to make each individual’savegant-virtual-reality-reviews-retina-display necessary adjustments. You also need to set the lenses and one of the three levels of brightness. All in all, the Glyph user community seems to rather universally state that it takes a minimum of 5 to 10 to even 20+ minutes to make all these alignment adjustments every time they don and use the Avegant Glyph.

    As you can imagine, if you move ever so slightly from a comfy movie-watching couch position, you just may need to perform some or all of these adjustment tasks and tweaks all over again – as more than a few customers are saying is a more than a bit annoying.

    Getting the focus of the projection optics just right for each individual user has proven to be more of a chore than most consumer electronics aficionados are used to suffering, which is one of the primary complaints about the Glyph. This is once again complicated ever so slightly by the need to fit and micro adjust one of the four (4) provided the magnetically attachable nose pieces to customize the unit for your particular honker.

    For a list of the smartphones and other devices to which the Glyph seamlessly connects and works, you can download Avegant’s compatibility guide for a list of tested devices and wireline adapters.

    Read:  Astonishing Attributes of the Samsung Gear VR

     

    BEST USES CASES

    There are at least seven (7) major customer use cases for this new wearables technology platform.

    1. Avegant Glyph can certainly enhance the potential stifling boredom of any long plane flight, train trip, bus trip, or car trip with the secure privacy of a personal movie theater. This is likely the numero uno application for this micro-miniaturized DLP consumer electronics wonder.
    1. You can use it as a semi-immersive 3D viewer for 3D movies and 3D videos, which are becoming increasingly available on streaming channels such as YouTube and Netflix.
    1. One of the most unique experiences you can have with the Avegant Glyph is to hook it up to a drone, in this instance, the first one out of the gate that works is the DJI Inspire1. The combo of the Glyph and the drone give you a can’t be beat FPV experience that is as close to the real deal of flying solo as you’re gonna get unless you are a wingsuit flyer or a base jumper or the Jetman, Yves Rossi. In fact, you can most certainly look for these types of devices to be one of the most sought after FPV experiences for drone work and play. It will be a real growth industry, in the opinion of this review.
    1. Another major use case for the Avegant Glyph is to just kick back on your cozy sofa or recliner, make the final alignment adjustments, and horizontally zone out to a relaxing and crystal clear “big screen movie or video experience” for an hour or two. Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO GO, Youtube, and Vimeo await your horizontal view of the Glyph, as it interrupts your view of the ceiling with stunning DLP technology. Heck, it’s football season now. What better way to improve household relations with your spouse than to spend 8 horizontal hours on a Sunday with your Glyph personal sports viewer that seemingly floats mid-air above your couch?!
    1. With some real estate limitations in the corners of the display, you can quite capably use the Glyph as a primary or even secondary monitor for your laptop or workstation computer.
    1. Many users are reporting very satisfying experiences ‘gaming with the Glyph – that sounds like a great marketing mantra for Avegant. In fact, you can use the Glyph to play on the Xbox one, the Playstation, or on your gaming PC. Other than virtual reality, which the Glyph does not offer, this is escapism gaming at its best.
    1. You can always use the Glyph to simply listen to tunes, as a first rate, though not world class pair of headphones.

     

    GENERAL AVAILABILITY AND MSRP PRICING

    The Avegant Glyph is generally available now through different online channels MSRP USD699. There are some great deals currently available so you can Check Current Price and grab a bargain.


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