Avegant’s video headsets are like buses. You wait all year for one, and then two suddenly turn up at once. That thing you see above might look a million miles away from the headphone-inspired Glyph, but it is in fact a very close relative. Codenamed “Jellyfish” the video headset/wearable display has a wider field of view than the Glyph (65 degrees compared to 45), which makes it better for things like simulators, VR and (as seen here) point-of-view drone flying. The Jellyfish is something of a side project right now, Avegant’s priority remains with the Glyph. But, the company told us that devices with a wider field of view are something on its developmental roadmap, just don’t expect to see a consumer-ready product any time soon.
I was lucky enough to get my head inside the Jellyfish out in the Nevada desert. I used it while flying a drone, experiencing its point of view. The results were pretty incredible. I’ve flown drones with FPV (first person view) goggles before, but this was much more immersive than anything I’ve used so far. Of course, it helps that the drone I was flying has a 4K camera attached, but the larger image in front of your eyes, and its sharpness, are a huge step up from most of the units currently on the market. I could make out individual blades of grass with the drone hundreds of feet in the air. The stony, arid surface of the desert leaping out in sharp clarity. After my short time with it, I was pretty unhappy about having to take it off.
Using the Jellyfish alongside DJI’s Inspire 1 (and its 4K camera) gives you a tantalising taste of what’s around the corner for immersive or remote-video experiences. As drone use continues to grow, demand for such products will surely follow. The whole experience reminded me of watching those first few bits of HD content after upgrading your SD TV, the leap is significant, you just want more opportunities to enjoy it. Avegant’s current product, the Glyph, was primarily designed for mobile media consumption, but I think the wider field of view on the Jellyfish really does show off the company’s micro-mirror technology to its full potential.