Our goals were reliability, comfort and style. After the basic prototype direction was defined, detailed part-design and assemble methodology was explored. Throughout the process, there was a concentrated effort to maintain a robust design and yet reduce size, weight and part count.
In parallel, other team members benchmarked competitive product by exploring design elements, materials choices, manufacturing methods and branding messages. This research, along with input from Avegant, served as the foundation for the Glyph’s personality and aesthetic development.
Several rounds of detailed part assemblies were built with parametric modeling software. Each round concluded with rapid prototyped, proof-of-concept models tested by users, media, and investors across the country. The acoustic cavity received additional attention from partners in California and Austria to define Avegant’s signature sound and noise cancelation system. The revolutionary technology and user adjustment challenges meant that this system could only be designed from the inside out. Unique mechanisms allowing smooth interpupilary distance and diopter lens adjustments were created and then carefully packaged within the global design. Those adjustments were critical to aligning the micromirrors with the user’s retina. Without proper positioning, the viewing experience was compromised. Circuit boards were strategically positioned for performance, interaction and system balance. Cables and wires were precisely routed, service loops were created and strain reliefs provided. The assembly of each subsystem was carefully planned.
Once the optics and circuit boards for the International Consumers Electronics Show prototypes were defined, the final aesthetic details were established. Renderings were created to communicate form, color, finish, and material. An international press release introduced these early images of the Glyph Alpha to the world. A month before the deadline, a test build was conducted in Austin, Texas. After two days, 43 necessary changes were identified and after an intense week of design, final part files were released for fabrication. CNC machines were fired up, 3D printers were initialed, and model makers were prepared. With over hundreds of parts to fabricate, this project required the orchestration of many partners to ensure delivery of successful prototypes.
Two weeks after releasing data, Avegant and Tekna team members gathered to build the first of 12 functional prototypes. After 16 hours of concentrated effort, the first working Glyph Alpha was born. In two more build sessions lasting several days (and nights), additional improvements were added. Finally, the remaining Alpha units were completed, tested, and released for the show.