3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Glyph, a new Head Mounted Virtual Retinal Display by Avegant

December 18th, 2013 · 3 Comments · 3D / AR / VR / HMD

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A company called Avegant, a name that you might not heard of yet, has just announced a beta consumer concept of what the call a Virtual Retinal Display called Glyph. The Glyph headset integrates a brilliant, vivid video display and premium audio experience in a unique flip-down form factor looking just like a pair of headphones that double as a HMD. Prototypes of the Glyph Beta will be featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 7-10, 2014. Consumer units will be available for purchase through a Kickstarter campaign that should start on January 22 and backing it up with $499 will secure you a kit that will ship later in the year.

Key to the innovative nature of Glyph is its optical engine called a Virtual Retinal Display (VRD). Using a low powered LED, a series of custom optics and a micromirror array, the visuals produced by the headset are supposedly crisper and brighter than those from conventional display technologies – think in the lines of using micro projectors that project the image directly on your retina. There will also be an integrated head tracking for more immersive and responsive gaming that should be compatible with all of the latest consoles and games according to Avegant and in order to achieve this you should most likely be able to map it to other controls. The shipped version will have one HDMI/MHL cable, onboard battery power and a thinner, narrower display band than the Glyph Beta shown at CES.


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A Virtual Retinal Display uses a micromirror array and a combination of optics to reflect an image directly onto your retina, effectively using the back of your eyeball as a screen. The resulting picture is extremely sharp and vivid, unlike anything a conventional display can produce. In particular, the 3D images are exceptionally clear. The people that have tried the prototype from Avegant report that even though it had lower resolution of 1280×800 pixels the image quality looks really great and better than what a similar resolution HMD device using LCD displays can provide. You will also have an option to adjust the diopters in the Glyph to accommodate a wide variety of prescriptions and pupillary distances, so no need to wear prescription glasses while using it.

The Glyph is made to be media agnostic, meaning that it can plug into any HDMI source and display any current content natively. The beta headset will have one MHL/HDMI cable that will plug into any HDMI source and for the 3D is should be based around the HDMI 1.4 frame packaging format. According to Avegant the beta headset should have enough battery life to power a full-length feature film, or about two to three hours. The Glyph headset should have a 45 degree field of view, so this makes it more like an alternative solution to devices such as the Sony’s Personal 3D Viewers, Carl Zeiss Cinemizer or the Silicon MicroDisplay ST1080 than the Oculus Rift for example.

The idea and the technology seems very promising, and Avegant is reporting that many users who experience eye strain or nausea in looking at a conventional display feel no similar effect using this technology. The price also seems just about right and much lower than other higher priced solutions such as some of the HMD devices already mentioned aside from the Rift, but the Glyph will be a competitor for that device anyway. What bothers me a bit actually is the headset design that places the video part on the top of the headphones frame, meaning that if not used for video the optics will be sitting on top of your hair. The concept also shows no means to block external light are available, something that can kill a bit the sense of immersion at least for LCD-based HMD devices, it is possible that with this projection technology that might actually not be a problem, but it is something that needs to be checked. Anyway, I’ll be keeping an eye on the Glyph as more information becomes available about the device, and so should you if you are interested in VR and HMD devices.

Visit Avegant’s official website for more information about the company and the Glyph…

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List of the Available and Up to Date 3D-capable HMD Devices

February 23rd, 2013 · No Comments · 3D / AR / VR / HMD


We’ve had various Head Mounted Display (HMD) consumer oriented devices some with 3D support as well for years already and they still haven’t become a popular and widespread solution for Virtual Reality applications and gaming in particular. Aside from the fact that these devices have been updated in terms of resolution by using newer display technology and getting somewhat more affordable prices nothing much has been improved to making them a more suitable solution for VR applications and making them more attractive to consumers. Or at least that was the situation before the Oculus Rift has been announced and now, just a few more days before the first developer units of the Rift start shipping it is time to take a look at what other alternatives are currently available at the moment and what they offer in terms of basic specifications and features as well as how they differ from the Rift.


Oculus Rift Developer Version:

– Resolution: 1280×800 (640×800 per eye)
– Panel Type: LCD
– Video Input: DVI/HDMI
– 3D Input Type: Side by Side with optical distortion
– Field of View: 110 degrees diagonal (adjustable)
– Horizontal FOV: 90 degrees
– Weight: 220 grams
– Head Tracking: Available
– Price: $300 USD for the dev kit
Official Website


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Sony HMZ-T1 / HMZ-T2:

– Resolution: 1280×720 per eye
– Panel Type: OLED
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 51 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: 45 degrees
– Weight: 420 grams (330 grams for the T2)
– Head Tracking: Not available
– Price: $799.99 USD
Official Website


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Silicon MicroDisplay ST1080:

– Resolution: 1920×1080 per eye
– Panel Type: LCoS
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 45 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: ?
– Weight: 180 grams
– Head Tracking: Not available
– Price: $799 USD
Official Website


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Carl Zeiss Cinemizer OLED:

– Resolution: 870×500 per eye
– Panel Type: OLED
– Video Input: HDMI
– 3D Input Type: HDMI 1.4 frame packaging
– Field of View: 30(?) degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: 30 degrees
– Weight: 120 grams
– Head Tracking: Available (optional)
– Price: $749 USD
Official Website


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Vuzix Wrap 1200VR:

– Resolution: 852×480 per eye
– Panel Type: LCD
– Video Input: VGA
– 3D Input Type: Side by Side
– Field of View: 35 degrees diagonal
– Horizontal FOV: ?
– Weight: 85 grams
– Head Tracking: Available
– Price: $499 USD
Official Website


As you can see there are quite a few different approaches, offering different features and with different specifications. What is common for most of these devices, apart from the Rift is that they all offer much lower FOV and that makes it very hard to achieve a good sense of immersion. With the implementation of the Rift for achieving a much larger FOV we see that what others needed was to change their approach, something that hasn’t been done for years in the segment of HMD devices. The side effect is that you get a device that needs a special kind of input, so you just cannot connect it to a PC and start using, something that you can do with all other devices mentioned here. And while this lack of universal support might be a bit of problem at first it also ensures that getting official support in an application or a game for the Rift can ensure great experiences and immersion, even though the resolution is lower than on some other competitive products. For example Sony HMZ-T1 and HMZ-T2, Silicon MicroDisplay ST1080 and the Carl Zeiss Cinemizer OLED all use HDMI 1.4 and rely on frame packaging for stereo 3D image support and the Vuzix Wrap 1200VR offers Side by Side support. This makes it very easy to use these devices for gaming with the help of already available software solutions such as Nvidia’s 3DTV Play or DDD’s TriDef 3D software, but what you get might not be very immersive as something that you’d expect form such a HMD, in a sense it will be much close to using a normal 3D monitor placed at a larger distance than you normally would use it from. There are other things that can be considered, but in the end it should be all about the experience you are getting, right?

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QuakeCon 2012 Panel – Virtual Insanity – The Future of Gaming

August 6th, 2012 · 3 Comments · General 3D News


Here is a video recording of th Virtual Insanity panel at QuakeCon 2012 featuring John Carmack (id Software), Michael Abrash (Valve), and Palmer Luckey (Oculus). Moderated by Todd Hollenshead (id Software). The guys are talking about AR, VR, stereo 3d and future of gaming with these technologies getting adopted for gaming, and of course a lot more information about the Oculus Rift… spend an hour to watch it if you weren’t able to attend QuakeCon.

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