An Oculus Rift Heartbreaker Hits Kickstarter

avegantHot on the heels of CES, a trade show darling has hit Kickstarter in a big way.  And Oculus should be shaking in their boots.

Peek below the fold for more.

An Ann Arbor company called Avegant has been quietly making waves in the news since the middle of last year with their cool new wearable display.  Now, the Avegant Glyph, darling of CES, has come to that hotbed of innovation we love so dear.

In the two full days since launching their Kickstarter campaign, Avegant has raised over $600k with more than 1200 backers pledging support for the device.  While it’s true that the Oculus Rift raised over a million dollars in its first two days on Kickstarter, it also had a somewhat lower barrier to entry than the Glyph ($275 for an unassembled Rift dev kit versus $499 for a beta Glyph).  So why am I so excited for the Glyph?  It’s all about the tech, baby!

Unlike the Rift, which uses an LCD display inside the visor, the Glyph uses reflected light to straight project images onto your retinas.  Your eyes become the display.  Glyph has drawn a line in the sand, and below that line is scribed the moniker that will come to define the future of display technology.  That moniker reads, “Fuck Your Pixels!”  Combined with the promised HD audio, I can’t imagine a more immersive entertainment or productivity experience short of plugging the computer directly into your brainstem.

Of course, Oculus hasn’t stopped innovating, and their latest revision of the Rift, called “Crystal Cove,” was voted Best of CES.  But when I look at that big, ugly, face bucket in contrast to that sweet, Geordi La Forge lookin’ Glyph, I know which one I’d rather die of dehydration while wearing… And who cares if the Rift is already being used by NASA to control robot arms, or by social scientists to swap people’s genders, if I’m not also prowling the New Vegas wastes or slaying Skyrim’s dragons in glorious VR?  Seriously!

All that cheek aside, it is awesome to see truly disruptive innovations battling it out in the crowd space.  As much as I’d love to get in on the Glyph beta, reality dictates that I wait a bit before I spend that kind of money (plus, having a tech savvy wife means never buying just one cool toy).  That said, with all the boundaries Avegant has committed to pushing, the Glyph is definitely a device to follow.  I wish them wild success.  And I hope that the added competition finally compels Oculus to lock in a release date for a consumer ready Rift.  It’s been over a year and a half!  Time to emit waste or get off the pot, Oculus!

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This entry was posted by Chris Avery.

2 thoughts on “An Oculus Rift Heartbreaker Hits Kickstarter

    • It’s true that some details are still opaque, and certainly this review suggests that there are still issues to work out, but I think it’s safe to say that Rift and Glyph are fighting over the same real estate. If anything, I’m just excited to see someone nipping at Oculus’ heels, because they get such good press, and I loves me some competition. Oculus has announced that 2014 is going to be a “big year” for VR, so we shall see! Thanks for posting.

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