Avegant Glyph evaluation: A wearable cinema for serious film enthusiasts

Avegant Glyph evaluation: A wearable cinema for serious film enthusiasts

The idea behind the Avegant Glyph is pretty easy. it is a $699 portable, wearable movie theater. And if you‘re questioning it looks extra like a couple of Beats than a cinema display screen, there may be truepurpose: It moonlights as a pair of regular headphones, of course, though video viewing is why you’d wantto shop for one. in the scarf are eye holes, behind which is some smart micromirror projection technologythat beams 720p video directly into your eyes. put on the Glyph like a VR headset, and plug in an HDMIsource and you’re excellent to move. If all this sounds acquainted, it’s because the Glyph has been indevelopment for some years now. This proper right here, but, is the model it really is approximately toship. i’ve spent a while with my head in a single, and it’s pretty neat. And, sure, a touch weird.
execs
Crisp photo excellent
splendid sound
Immersive viewing revel in

Cons
Headphone mode is a bit uncomfortable in prolonged use
Battery lifestyles will be better
a few features now not completely exploited
summary
The Avegant Glyph is attempting something different, but treading new floor also means making somemissteps. The core movie-viewing revel in is enjoyable, however some of the more immersive capabilitiessuch as head tracking are yet to be full exploited. if you‘re an early adopter, this tool will thrill you.otherwise, extra casual users are higher off waiting for a extra delicate model later on.
the first time I attempted out the Glyph turned into nearly precisely a yr in the past. at the time Iconsider wondering it become quite cool, but a touch uncomfortable to put on. The nose pad turned into nevertheless being tweaked, and the prototype became lacking some of the gloss and finish of a finalproduct (bare wires have been uncovered, for instance). there’s not anything of the sort right here,although. The Glyph now has magnetic changeable nose pads (a choice of four sizes) and a cowl for the attention holes (so your hair pomade does not smear the optics in headphone mode), and it looks and feelsmuch extra like a retail product.

The layout adjustments over the last twelve months might also have been approximately refinement,however the Glyph we have nowadays is pretty one-of-a-kind from how it turned into at the start meantto appearance. Early prototypes display a headset that wouldtransform” into video-viewing modegenuinely by using sliding the headband over your eyes while the ear cups remained nevertheless. Thatidea probable wasn’t sensible, anyway. as an alternative, the headset is one constant piece. you cannevertheless “rotate” it down, but it is not pretty as slick as the initial folding method. In fact, you aremore likely to take the headset off absolutely, gingerly dispose of the magnetic cowl for the optics, joinyour media and then slide your head into it. (there’s an non-compulsory head strap in case you needmore assist.)

The constant layout and massive ear cups make the Glyph quite a beast. at the same time as there’s noactual display hidden away in the headband, there may be still a group of tech that makes that elementplenty thicker than a normal pair of headphones. it’s very important when you wear it, and the height itprovides in your head is a little dorky-searching. The rigidity way the Glyph can creak barely if youstretch it open (like I have to, to insert my large noggin) so it might be exciting to peer how those keep up after months of use. This stiff build gives the Glyph a tight yet secure in shapeone which does an excellent task of isolating you from outside sounds. This latter factor is pertinent due to the factenergetic noise cancellation became a characteristic promised in the Kickstarter marketing campaign,best to be axed later because of the price.

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the primary time I tried the very last Glyph hardware, I did the classicpass the guideissue. setting it upisn’t always overly complex, but getting the optics simply right may take a few tries. you will first want to get the proper nostril pad and set the Glyph’s top/length like you would possibly a everyday pair of cans — except in this situation they’re horizontal. there’s a button that “releases” the optics, which clicks again in the headscarf whilst you‘re in audio mode. two sliders on the top part of the pinnacle band move the optics to purpose the picture into your eyes, and two consciousness dials allow you to, well,recognition! Avegant claims the settings are precise sufficient that most of the people can ditch their glasses. I ought to, and so may want to some of my particularly vision-impaired colleagues.

as soon as you have matters simply right, the picture is impressively sharp. Avegant says the viewingexperience is like sitting in thesweet spot” at 71 ft back in an ordinary 52-foot film theater. Anecdotally, i would say it changed into like sitting approximately 7 feet from a fifty five-inch tv. The analogy of a cinema is higher although, as wearing the headset does experience a bit like being in a theater; there’snot anything however black across the image, so the display floats like a cinema display. upload inside the juicy, cinematic sound from the headphones and it absolutely is quite an immersive enjoy. no longer in the identical manner that digital truth is (with the Glyph on, you continue to have clear view beneath the scarf), however it’s absolutely like being in a cinema by myself.

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I watched a gaggle of stuff through the Glyph: a variety of drone movies and a gaggle of wing-in shapeflying clips had been my preliminary cross-to. It simply seemed like the first element I need to do. the sphere of view at the Glyph is not crazy huge; it’s about forty stages (like I say, believe having a massivetelevision putting right in the front of you). however the isolation/loss of distraction does make “first-individual view” films a piece greater thrilling. there’s also a “3D” mode that works with any aspectviafacet/SBS video you can find. there are many on YouTube, and they arrive out pretty properly. you aremanifestly halving the resolution, however that’s authentic for all 3D videos, regardless of what you view them on.

YouTube clips and 3-D motion pictures are all well and appropriate, however it’s without a doubtapproximately the cinema experience. i was given the Glyph at cellular international Congress in Barcelona, which is about 3– or 4-hour educate trip from wherein I live. it’s about as lovable a experienceas you may ever wish for, with plenty of it right beside the Mediterranean. I, however, whiled away the time with my head in the Glyph looking Netflix. there is some thing soothing approximately looking movies in it, in such uncommon privacy and comfort. i might nearly feel horrific for losing the sort of right view,however I discern the Med could constantly be there. Netflix, alternatively, might evaporate day after today. it truly is my justification, at the least.

notwithstanding the long term between Kickstarter and shipping, there are nevertheless somesymptoms that the Glyph is, if we’re being well mannered, a “dwelling product.” The headset incorporatesthe generation for head monitoring, which includes searching round in VR, 360-diploma movies, et cetera. however right now, there’s now not lots available it truly is without a doubt well matched. Avegant has teamed with Jaunt VR to make its library work with Glyph, however proper now it’s now notpretty prepared. i was advised the head tracking does work with drones, although, along with theinspire 1 from DJI. I tried it with the Phantom three, and you can view the digicam flawlessly, howeverthere may be alas no head tracking. there’s a variety of capacity hereunfortunately I simply wasn’table to check it.

SONY DSCThe equal goes for Bluetooth. The Glyph has it; I just wasn’t able to do something with it. Iattempted pairing it with my cellphone to test the audio, but no dice. you will need to use a 3.5mm cable for audio-best mode, but at least meaning it doesn’t faucet into the battery, saving that instead for video mode. an excellent component, too, because the Glyph ran for just over three-and-a-half of hours with video playback in my checks. this is sufficient for pretty plenty any film and a touch something else,however a portable USB battery could be necessary for longer journeys or movies.

i was also impressed that the Glyph labored with everything I plugged into it: my iPhone, an LG G4 (bothof which require adapters), a GameStick and even my liked Atari Lynx this is modded with a VGA-out. i havea pair of fats Shark video goggles for drone flying, and it has the identical micro-HDMI connection, howeverthey are a whole lot greater temperamental in terms of what they paintings with.

at the same time as the compatibility is decent (there’s a list here), I questioned why there has been no “onboard” media player through an SD card slot. That manner you may cross totally cordloose (at onepoint I had an HDMI stick with a USB battery related to it striking out of one ear). Avegant says it becometargeted on getting the experience and the platform proper, and that it’ll reflect onconsideration onincreasing the characteristic set down the road. as an example, the Bluetooth is there to actuallyincrease the pinnacle monitoring function, more than offer every other way to concentrate to trackit is still a function it’sat the list.”

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that’s quite a lot the topic. right now, the Glyph does its core task — media playback — absolutelyproperly. mendacity back on a sofa with the Glyph on is such a pleasant manner to look at films and tv. The display screen stays proper in the front of your eyes so there is no achy neck, the image is sharp, and the audio packs effect. It turned into so enjoyable and comfortable inside my non-public cinema that I fell asleep extra than once. The headset is a little on the weighty aspect, however I by no means locatedit to be a trouble in film mode.

The issues creep in while you need to do something else. Audio mode is … fine? The sound is wonderful: loud and a touch bassy (my preference; it might not be yours). definitely, even though, i found myselfmore aware of how the headset appeared and felt in headphone mode — extra so than once I had it inmovie mode (because i used to be too into anything i was looking). it’s no longer just the thickheadscarf; it’s also a bit uncomfortable for extended listening. there’s no padding except the thin cloth ofthe eye hollow cowl, so it presses in opposition to your scalp greater than everyday headphones.

I already referred to how 3D and 360-diploma viewing is possible; there may be simply now not a lot of things you could do with the latter (a few computer/Mac video games paintings, however it is very an awful lot a case of wait and see). Then there is the modest battery existence. To be honest, it’s in line with, and possibly a touch better than, what Avegant promised from the starthowever i’ve a 20-houradventure arising, and that i seriously need to remember whether I want to bring the Glyph or keep on with my telephone and headphones.

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and that’s the thing. paying attention to tune and taking part in media is some thing most peoplealready have an clean manner of doing. don’t get me incorrect, the Glyph makes films much moreexciting. With the Glyph, i’m excited about watching films, and it’s an appropriate manner of fixing the ones moments when you and your roommates or accomplice want to watch various things. but, there are many those who may not be capable of discover $699 really worth of motives to upgrade to the Glyph.

That said, every unmarried character who attempted my Glyph instantly loved it. it’s just convincing the ones people that there is enough use in it for them. there will, of course, be hardcore film fiends whosuppose it’s miles worth it, and that target market goes to be Avegant’s lifeline until it may evolveincrease the revel in for a greater mainstream crowd. i hope it does, even though. This looks as if an ideathat, with endured refinement, may want to fill the gap between casual cellular films and the increasingly more fragmented international of VR.