Eyes Up: Ann Arbor-based Avegant to Unveil Virtual Retinal Display


tJanuary will be a busy month for Avegant, which will debut the beta concept of its Glyph headset at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The device’s virtual retinal display uses the back of a viewer’s eyeball as a screen.

tTwo weeks later, the headset will be available as an incentive through the Ann Arbor-company’s Kickstarter campaign, which launches Jan. 22.

t“The environment (in our office) is very exciting,” says Ed Tang, CEO of Avegant. “We’re incredibly busy trying to reach all of our goals and to prepare for the Kickstarter campaign. It feels like we’re just on the cusp of something really revolutionary.”

tThe headset is equipped with a flip-down visor that can plug into any HDMI source to access media including video games, 3-D movies, and streamed video shows. Using a low-powered LED, a series of custom optics, and a micro-mirror array, the headset produces an image that appears as an 80-inch screen 8 feet away from the viewer.

tUnlike the Glyph’s previous engineering prototypes, the new consumer model integrates audio and video in a sleek design (no exposed circuits). Money raised during the campaign — during which the Glyph will be offered as a reward for contributions starting at $499 — will help the seven-person startup ramp up manufacturing on a larger scale.

tAvegant plans to unveil Glyph Beta headsets to the media at CES Jan. 6. It will make its first public appearance at “Who Will Take Your Brand Into the Future?” on the SyFy channel. It will also be featured at the firm’s CES exhibit from Jan. 7-10.