Original Post

So I saw this the other day while looking at the Retro USB AVS’s Facebook page. Some guy had one of these puppies plugged into this headset.

Now what’s intriguing to me is that the display technology seems remarkably similar to our old friend the Virtual Boy.


It uses an LED and a mirror array.

I would love to get my hands on this thing and see how games look on it.


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Near as I can tell, it’s just a picoprojector with a really dim LED that you look into instead of looking at the image bounced off of a screen. They claim there are no “pixels”, but that’s exactly what the mirrors in the DMD are.

LEDs and mirrors is about where the similarity with a VB ends. Since this has one mirror per pixel, there’s no scanning motion as in the VB (although I’m sure the addressing of the mirrors is time multiplexed, like the pixels in an LCD or OLED screen). In fact, since the mirrors are “1-bit” on/off devices, colors have to be created by PWM – flickering the mirrors on and off, with the amount of on time deciding the brightness (for each of the R, G, and B LEDs).

BTW, the claim of “directly on the retina” is pure hogwash; there’s no getting to the retina except through the eye’s own optics (without major surgery), so it’s no different than any other image, real or computer generated. This is just a run-of-the-mill stereo microscope pointed at a pair of DMDs (supports SBS stereo).

Yeah I agree that the projection to the retina claim is odd, they really didn’t need to add in that type of marketing.

From a portability stand-point it looks intriguing. People claim the image quality is breath-taking but its annoying that there is virtually no way to verify this. Also some claims of no frame delay by reviewers, but again, its all hear-say.

Honestly, I’d love to be able to try this thing with retro games and see what they look like.

Is this kind of like the short lived DLP system?

“Short-lived”? DLP projectors (including this thing) are still being actively developed and manufactured. I bought an LED-driven, pocket-sized, DLP projector a few months ago. They’re even being modified and used in certain 3D printers.

Maybe you mean DLP-based rear-projection TVs, which – along with all other RP TVs – are definitely obsolete, but the projection technology itself is alive and well.

Sorry, I was talking about the projection TV’s. I don’t have much experience with stand alone projectors (although that pocket one sounds sweet!). I just remember this quick blip of DLP TV’s, which were short lived. I remember watching a video on them and how it’s full of little tiny mirrors for each pixel, and a color wheel.

To be fair LCD projection TV’s were almost as short lived. That step between CRT projection TV’s and LCD/Plasma panel TV’s was very brief.

To pivot a little bit here…

Do projectors have any value in gaming? Are there any benefits to motion clarity/input/color vibrance?

I wonder if the original image technology used in the VB has lived on in any form?

To bring it back around to HMDs, while also talking about projectors, has anyone else been following the CastAR system?

It consists of two projectors mounted to a pair of shutter glasses. It projects a stereoscopic image away from the viewer, which bounces off of a piece of retro-reflective material, resulting in an image only you can see. Other people wearing one and looking at the same retro-reflector will only see their own image. Your head is tracked, so the scene appears to exist in the real world (hence the term “augmented reality”).

I hope it doesn’t end up as vaporware, because I really want one (or a few, so I can play with friends and family).

The fact they have a Williams Multi in one of their pictures (somewhere under the jobs tab) is pretty exciting. Can’t find much info on the device itself though.

I do have an HTC Vive if you’d like some feedback on that.


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