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Could a Virtual Reality Headset Recreate the Moviegoing Experience?

Could a Virtual Reality Headset Recreate the Moviegoing Experience?

Redwood City-based startup Avegant wants to change the way we consume visual media because, after all, gone are the days of going to the movie house. 

The company’s first virtual reality headset, Glyph, will unveil at this year’s International CES consumer tradeshow in Las Vegas, and Re/code offers the first glimpse at what the product will look like before it hits the consumer space this Fall.

According to the interview, Avegant CTO Allan Evans and cofounder Edward Tang are targeting media-savvy travelers and frequent flyers, those passengers looking for a better experience than whatever noise-canceling, over-the-ear, tablet accessories are on offer.

Kickstarted to the tune of $1.5 million, with an additional $9.4 million in funding, this “personal theater” headset “sticks the screen directly in front of your eyes.” But thanks to something-or-other called “micro mirror retinal projection,” which simulates natural light, wearing a Glyph is more like sitting in a dark movie theater than watching a film on your iPhone or iPad.

The Glyph, though sleeker and a bit less bulky, is similar in design to the upcoming Oculus Rift, Facebook’s $2 billion, 360-degree, virtual reality gaming apparatus. (There’s also this nifty set of headphones called Neoh, from French company 3D Sound Labs, which can reproduce 3D surround sound from any movie.)

The cool thing about the Glyph? Its mutability. It can display an array of content from phones, computers and consoles. But the not so cool thing? You still look like a dork wearing this gizmo, whether on a long overseas flight or the metro, as seen in the promo video below. There’s something almost Cronenbergian about strapping this thing to your face. In other words, cool, but a little creepy.

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