LED now projected on your eye

Sunday, 25 May 2014 - 11:50pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Is head-mounted virtual retinal display technology for everyday consumer?

Visualise you’re at the airport waiting for your flight and it just got delayed by another few hours. Wouldn’t it be the best thing to play some Battlefield or find out what happens on the next episode of Orphan Black? But the glare on your screen is just super annoying. Now imagine that you get a television the size of the wall in front of you. Wouldn’t that just make your day ? With a technology called Virtual Retinal Display, you get exactly that -- the only difference is that it’s being projected directly on the retina of your eyes giving you the same experience like an 84” LED.

After years of development and research, it’s now possible to have display technology that integrates video and audio into unique flip-down headset. Not to be confused with Retina Display, a Virtual Retinal Display, also known as a retinal scan display, is a visual technology that draws a display just like your television but directly onto the retina of the eye. 

Using a low-powered LED, a series of custom optics and a micromirror array, the visuals produced by the headset are crisper and brighter than those from conventional display technologies. This creates an environment perfect for entertaintment-- from 3D movies to desktop environments to streamed television shows. Integrated head tracking allows for immersive, responsive gaming that is compatible with all the latest consoles and games.

A Kickstarter campaign around Glyph, the pioneer in the field, commenced on January 22, 2014. The campaign raised $1,509,506 in the short timespan of 30 days which has proved to be a big win for the technology, proving that people want to wear a device which can transform from big headphones to portable movie theatre with a simple drop-down. 

“We’ve created a premium media experience that people can use with music, movies and games on any device they already own, including their smart phone. Integrating high-end audio with the Glyph and packaging it into a forward-thinking design is critical to a great experience “said Allan Evans, CTO of Avegant.

Michael Engleman, EVP Marketing, Digital and Global Brand Strategy, Syfy,  said“It’s an extremely innovative product that perfectly demonstrates the next wave of how consumers, and more specifically our audience of Igniters, experience immersive entertainment.”

“Avegant has made some great progress improving core technology that will make generalized virtual worlds possible,” added Phillip Rosedale, creator of Second Life.

Manna Kanuga a student at New Cambridge College said” Glyph is truly amazing, as a person who travels a lot I can definitely relate to the need for such a device. The Kickstarter campaign result should speak for itself when it comes to how much of a success Glyph is because of both the need this device is going to fulfil for travellers and people who just want a better visual experience at home as well as appealing to people worldwide because of its “cool factor” . “ 

Chinmay Parikh an engineering student pointed out “Glyph seems to fail as a truly portable device as it fails to overlay the virtual world with reality. With google glass, the device can overlay the virtual world with reality thats why you can wear it while walking around. Imagine being on a train while watching something and somebody walks away with your bag ?” 
While the device is sensational and definitely usable its not ready for mass scale adoption yet. It’s for developers and early adopters that are willing to put up with the ups and downs of a wearable device full of potential .


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