Last January we told you about a clever pair of headphones that had an integrated video screen in the headband. Two years after its original Kickstarter the Avegant Glyph is now ready to ship. In the expanse of time since the device’s successful crowdfunding, Avegant has redesigned the Glyph numerous times, most recently obsessing over comfort. As a refresher, Glyph looks like a typical pair of premium around-the-ear headphones except that you can pivot the cans so that the headband is over your eyes, revealing an integrated video screen. Well, maybe “video screen” isn’t exactly the correct terminology because the device actually projects the image into your eyes using a micro mirror array. Avegant claims that their display technology, sorry “Retinal Imaging Technology,” is far superior to traditional screens because it causes less eyestrain since the light is being reflected into your eyes similar to how we see the world around us. The image displayed is equivalent to a 65″ display and by design you have peripheral vision above and below the device. As far as video content, Glyph features a HDMI plug that can accept video from smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Thankfully this means you do not have to carry around a separate unit to store videos and provide power. Speaking of power, the Glyph’s built-in battery has an expected battery life of 4 to 5 hours when viewing video and for just audio the headphone uses passive drivers. You can order the Avegant Glyph through January 15th for $599, after which the price will jump to $699. The company is currently shipping Kickstarter pledges and website preorders and expects to sell the device via Amazon in March.
Glyph is a really clever product. When you look at what Avegant is doing compared to their competitors (Royole-X), the Glyph is a real feat of engineering. While the price is not for the faint of heart, we can see this combination of products catching on. It is an extremely easy way to consume video content on the go, whether during your morning commute or on a long distance flight. It also is a perfect first-person-view device for flying a drone, supports 3D movies, and even is capable of playing back 360 degree videos. Besides some improvement in pricing, video content also needs to be easier to access. While it is amazing that you don’t need an external box to feed the video (like competing products), every phone requires a sizable adaptor to connect via HDMI…not great for a portable product. In the future, it would be amazing if Glyph could play content via technology such as Apple’s AirPlay. As a piece of wearable tech, Glyph seems like something out of an 80s or 90s science-fiction flick…which might be why we love it so much!