So passeth the first month of 2014 – entirely without incident, more or less. Did more programming this month than the whole of 2013. As is always the case, January is spent underwater.

Am in an place in Wellington right now, which is k-for cool etc. Until you start staying in actual houses where proper people live, you don’t get a handle on how weirdly clinical and dysfunctional hotels are. Not sure why, but there seems to have been a sudden uptake of airbnb accommodation – it’s almost all booked up. Well… it is around here.

Anyway – this crossed the radar:


Which is coincidental, because one of the first major kickstarter successes was “The Glif“… but it’s more interesting for what it is – a VR headset that fires photons directly into your retinas.

There’s something creepy about how they say “The Military Market”, and they mention patents as though that’s something to be proud of – so they’re well and truly on the side of evil.

Couple of things interesting though:

1) It only costs $500. If this went via old industrial-era product-development life-cycles, it would cost thousands… maybe be 10s of thousands – if they’re selling to “the military market”. Something quite interesting with crowd-funding, is that the biggest chunk of money seems to come via pre-sales… so if the price isn’t dictated by “institutional” investors. Like “the military market”.

2) It would appear to have superseded occulus rift, before occulus rift has even gotten to market properly. I thought O.R. would have been a gigantic world-beater – but 1.5 years later, they only seem to be releasing developer kits (in fact, they’ve got a new version before they’ve even started to sell the old version to non-devs) – and now there’s a new kid on the block.

3) It uses a micro-mirror array which (if the blurb is to believed) doesn’t look pixelly. That’s pretty cool if it’s true. Reminds me of the way movies take advantage of persistence of vision to create the illusion of fluidity.

4) You can plug it into any device that outputs an image. Eg: your TV, your laptop, your phone, your Raspberry Pi, etc etc.

So there you go – the obvious next-step with these is to mount a couple of cameras on the front, so you can mix the artificial with the real. Seems kindof dangerous firing light straight into your eyes – but could actually be safer than un-augmented vision. You ain’t going to burn your eyes looking at the sun, or laser-spots for example – unlike trad augmented vision, which just puts a screen between your eyes and reality. Taking total control of all incoming light creates far stronger blending possibilities as well – assuming you’ve got edge-detection capabilities strong/fast enough to tell what’s going on.

Not that they’re doing that of course – so far it’s just a gaming headset. Something tells me that the wonderful world of porn just made a massive leap forward as well.

1 Comment » for Glyphage
  1. roid says:

    Oh, a DLP version of the Rift.
    I cringed a bit when they said “project an image directly onto your retina”, since there’s not a display in existance that isn’t techically “projecting images onto your retina”, but i guess “directly” is the subjective pivot-word of the statement. This thing still requires lens optics just like the Rift does.

    Microvision once did something similar to this with low-powered lasers and a single tiny rastering mirror, MEMS stuff. Seems more elegant than using a DLP mirror chip. They didn’t need lenses at all afaik.

    Not sure what happened to that product, maybe low-powered lasers were too expensive at the time. They did end up making a projector with the tech though, the PicoP, it projects onto walls so it has higher power lasers. It’s dim as fuck though, so maybe it turns out that bright-enough lasers are just plain dangerous around eyeballs.
    It would be nice one day to be able to say that i fire laser-beams into my face on a routine basis, it’s so Jetsons.