HBO is using an actual prototype of Avegant’s head-mounted display called Glyph in an episode of Silicon Valley. It appears in the current season’s eighth episode aired on June 11, The Keenan Vortex, as a set of virtual reality goggles created by fictional character Keenan Feldspar. The character is loosely based on Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey, despite the massive beard.
In the episode, Feldspar’s VR headset is the latest sensation in Silicon Valley. He’s the current “it” boy and offers to the company purchase Pied Piper for a certain amount. But protagonist Richard Hendricks counters with a $25 million proposition in hopes that Feldspar rejects the number, but the VR genius accepts.
In the next episode, Hooli-Con, the Pied Piper crew attend a tech event. There, viewers see Avegant’s booth promoting the current Glyph head mounted display now sold on the market for $400 along with other booths provided by 360fly and Oculus in the background.
The VR goggles look thin, light, and highly futuristic compared to the PC-based VR headsets used today. But the resulting, real world Glyph product has nothing to do with virtual reality but instead engulfs the wearer’s view with a “screenless” headphone form factor. There are no screens involved, thus the device projects media into the user’s eyes using low-power LEDs, 2million microscopic mirrors, and patented optics.
Because images are beamed directly onto the retina, Avegant claims that users will not see pixelized images, and they will not suffer from eyestrain or related headaches. Plus, the device includes headphones, making it an all-in-one head mounted display that plugs into any device with an HDMI port. That includes smartphones and tablets with HDMI output capabilities using the proper adapter.
“Fully adjustable optics compensate for most prescriptions, meaning you can enjoy extended viewing without the need for glasses,” the company says. “Image clarity is hardly distinguishable from viewing the natural world. Immersive, yet not shut off from your surroundings.”
HBO’s original comedy television series, Silicon Valley, premiered on April 6, 2014. It focuses on Hendricks, who in the beginning worked at internet company Hooli while creating a music app called Pied Piper on the side via a live-in startup business incubator. This app included a “revolutionary” data compression algorithm that Hooli wanted to obtain. Hendricks abandoned his Hooli job to form the Pied Piper team.