Head tracking using FPV goggles

The Age of Head tracking using FPV goggles for your DJI drone begins right Here and Now.

What is a Glyph?

Head Tracking

 

The Avegant Glyph is a Triumph of Technology and Style. It is a media-centric device. Avegant has created a new product category with the Glyph. Avegant calls it mediawear and the Glyph combines a high quality stereo headphone with innovative goggles and head tracking all in one. The Glyph is promoted as the world’s first personal theater designed with lightweight portability, rich audio and amazingly precise video. For DJI drone owners like us, the glyph introduces Head Tracking which enables you to control the camera movements by turning and nodding your head.

glyph-technology 1

History

Kickstarter was the birthplace of Avegant and the Glyph. Upon the launch of the campaign on 22nd of January 2014, it only took four hours for the Glyph to reach its $250,000 funding target. Eventually $1.5million was raised making it one of the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date. Fast forward to February 2016, a little over 2 years later, after numerous design changes and enhancements, the Founders edition of the Glyph were shipped out to some of the initial backers. I was fortunate to be in this group and this is the version I am reviewing.

Current Goggles technology

Popular FPV googles such as fat sharks and Zeiss goggles use LCD panels to display images similar to what you would see through a camcorder’s viewfinder with two eyes instead of monocular vision. The main set back with these LCD googles is that you do feel like you are looking though a tube and the images are often dimly lit with very low clarity and small Filed of View. To overcome these setbacks, the googles come with the fully enclosed rubber eye cups which then introduces fogging and tiredness to the eyes.

The “cardboard” foam box styles of goggles (insert your own phone into a foam box style VR goggles) on the market or the Headplay simply use a 7″ screen with a magnifying lens to give it immense view – the main issues are all the pixelations and lines are magnified as well and it can become tiring to the eyes after an hour of use and fogging is again a real issue.

The Sony HMZ T3W was the benchmark of goggles for image quality. The Sony had the best OLED 1280 X 720 display of all the goggles but it was cumbersome and the signal has to be fed though a cumbersome slave HDMI box making this very limited for portability and outdoor usage.

Technology

The Glyph is innovative and different to other goggles currently on the market because its patented Virtual Retina Display technology involves no screen at all, images are projected directly onto the eyes with a complex array of LEDs and mirrors. Put simply, think of it as a Digital Light Processing projector or projection TV reflecting RBG data through 2 million micro mirrors directly into your eye’s pupil instead of projecting onto a screen and watching the reflected images. Most of everything we see in real life are from reflected lights. With the Glyph, the images are projected directly into our eyes allowing them to receive visual input in the most natural way possible, with effortless perception and giving you the most innate experience. The Advanced optics create complete images, unlike the traditional pixels on a screen that your eyes have to interpret. This enable effortless viewing, and it’s extraordinary, something you will have to experience first hand to believe. Visual input is very natural, with no lag time, so there’s never fatigue—just sharp, brilliant images. The inbuilt 2060mAh Li-ion battery easily provide up to 4 hours of continuous usage in a compact form factor similar to a pair of BEATS headphones.

Image Size

Even though it is only rated at HD 1280 x 720p per eye, the projected images are much more clearer, crisper and brighter and you cannot see any pixelation with images. The image size is equivalent to watching a 60″ TV in a normal sized room or sitting in the last row of a movie theatre. It is definitely not iMax size nor does it feel like you are watching a 42″ TV. The Glyph’s high quality images gives you the immediacy and vividness of the natural world. Running via DJI HDMI RC’s output, I was able to see much more details from the feed than what was showing on my iPad PRO.

FPV

As the Glyph doesn’t fully enclose your eyes, you can use it to supplement the view from your tablet display in sunlights while maintaining legal status of non exclusive FPV goggles usage. With the glyph on, you are still able to have direct LOS to your drone and you can still glance down and access informations such as map and radar and camera settings from your DJI GO App.

For all eyes type

If you wear glasses like me, the Glyph can accommodate a wide range of eyeglass prescriptions from +1.0 to -7.0 to deliver optimal image quality for effortless extended viewing without needing glasses. The inter pupillary distance can easily be adjusted and is suitable for all eyes type. Adjust as you would when using a pair of binoculars. Once you’ve get the perfect clarity ( there is a clarity screen test that you can call up to help calibrate your eyes) it’s full on HD enjoyment.

Compatibility.

As long as your devices provide a HDMI output – the Glyph is fully compatible, you can enjoy any content from TV shows, movies, streaming video, games and more. Simply plug in the supplied HDMI cable and watch your media content. The Glyph is also future proof with the ability to display an immensive 360-degree experience and side-by-side 3D, in amazing detail and clarity. Visual content is dramatically enhanced, and you can explore new media like 360-degree video for an immersive experience. I bought a couple of Apple to HDMI adapters which enable me to use the Glyph with my MacBook Air and iPhone and iPad Pro.

Head tracking.

What is head tracking? We have all seen movies and documentaries where an Apache helicopter gunner turns his head and the machine gun automatically follows his head movements. Well now you can do the same with your DJI drone and instead of the machine gun, you can control the attached Camera in the same fashion. Head tracking is a function and the ability to interface the Glyph with your DJI’s RC to allow you to control the movement of your DJI’s gimbal. The Glyph has a 9 axis IMU which gives you two mode of head tracking – slow for precision pan and tilt (if supported by your DJI drone) and fast for rapid and exponential movements. The slow mode works extremely well with DJI’s drone, it provides precision control for the camera operator should he wishes not to use the slave RC joysticks. In real world use, the Glyph is a perfect adjunct when attached to the slave RC. I would not recommend using head tracking function on the master RC as you can easily lose orientation and because it takes up the USB port from the RC, you will no longer have all the auxiliary data and controls provided by the GO App. Head tracking give spectators a unique view from above and they are in total control of their view and direction.

Tech specs

  • Resolution

    1280x720p per eye; 2 million micromirrors

  • Aspect Ratio

    16:9

  • Field of view

    ~40° diagonal

  • Video & Audio Input

    microHDMI

  • Audio-Only Input

    3.5mm TRRS (standard AUX)

  • Frequency Response

    20Hz-20kHz

  • Dynamic Range

    95 dB

  • Battery Life

    Up to 4 hours video playback, unlimited passive audio

  • Battery Type

    Li-lon, Integrated

  • Battery Capacity

    2060mAH

  • Charging Port

    microUSB

  • Diopter Adjustment

    +1 to -7 range

  • Headtracking

    9 Axis IMU

  • 3D

    Supports 720p side by side (SBS) content

  • Updatable Firmware

    For enhanced features and capabilities

  • Compatibility

Head Tracking glyph 1

Beauty.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I like Glyph’s Sophisticated, understated, elegant and streamlined design. My wife and friends refused to be seen near me when I was using the Headplay and I was hesitant to use it in public. The Zeiss looks fine except I am forced to be tethered to an external HDMI box. The fat shark looks like a toy and the Sony made me looked like a lost pilot. With the Glyph, people were approaching me and commenting on how futuristic it looks and some were wondering why I was wearing my headphone the wrong way. The Glyph is a goggle I would rather be seen in public with and it would not look out of place in a business cabin cruising at 40000ft high.

Headphone.

The 40mm passive drivers deliver rich bass and crisp trebles. With sensitivity of 95dB and 20Hz 20kHz frequency range, you can be sure not to miss a beat. The headphone mode is non powered so there is no limit on the battery’s life. Compared to my Bose headphone, there was very little discernible difference in sound quality. The well cushioned ear over foam provides both comfort and great noise filtering. It’s unfortunate that noise cancelling technology has to be left out of the final production model. However, I could not see myself using the Glyph purely as headphones for hours on end as it is heavy when used in head phone mode and uncomfortable to the crown of the head. Strangely it feels tight as well but as goggle mode – it is very comfortable. This may be put down to the different head sizes amongst our population. Also lacking was the 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable which should have been supplied as standard accessories. Just make sure you order the thin TRRS (beats) plug style as any stock generic 3.5mm plug will not fit the headset.

App

There is a very basic Glyph App which enable you to configure the Bluetooth of the Glyph. You can also register your Glyph through the App and do future FW updates. Unfortunately for DJI Go App fans, there is currently no badges or medals to be earned.

I can still see.

As with all other previous goggles experience (fat sharks, Zeiss, Head Play and Sony), you normally become bored after the first week. Those goggles usually end up going back in the original packing box and not used again, purely because they were either a pain to set up to use or gave me headaches after using them. Well, after nearly one month of full usage, mainly as FPV on the Inspire 1, Matrice 100, Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 and using it on my MacBook Air and iPad PRO, I can confidently say this will be the only goggles I will be using from now on until the next new technology. Many of our members have expressed concerns about my eyesight since the images are projected directly into the eyes from low powered LEDs. I can gladly report that I can still see clearly and there appears to be no damage to my eyes after extended usage.

Price.

The Kickstarter program for the Glyph started at $499, during Dec 2015 you could have ordered the Glyph for a special introductory price of $599. Normal retail price is now $699. Cost is all relative to what the buyer is willing to pay. Considering that the Sony HMZ T3W cost $999 and the Zeiss is $799 and both does not have head tracking, this makes the Glyph a relative bargain when you are comparing High Quality goggles. Obviously, there are cheaper goggles out there as well but none are in the same class as the Avegant Glyph. If image quality, portability and supporting innovations and originality with the added bonus of head tracking and great sounds are important to you, you can’t go wrong with the Glyph.

Conclusion.

The Glyph is an innovative and new HD goggles with advanced head tracking and combines a high quality set of head phones making it a perfect compact companion to our beloved DJI drones. The technology is advanced and ahead of anything currently on the market. As a media device it is also perfect for everyday use. Finally there is a product which can be used both in our hobby / business and for day to day media use too. If you are looking for the best goggles to use with your DJI drones, you can’t go past the Avegant Glyph.

Enjoy and safe goggling.

Review by : Lynh Phan

Disclosure : We are not associated or affiliated with Avegant Glyph.

Visit : for Product review – https://avegant.com

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