And yes, Avegant's execs think this is a device for public use.While Oculus Rift-style virtual reality is certainly possible, the company is currently leaning more toward mobile video entertainment.It ended up working and we tried to miniaturize it." Indeed, the military was an early target for this device, as well as the medical field, providing a new interface for endoscopic surgery. In fact, Avegant as a company has only existed since January of this year, when CTO Evans and CEO Tang received their first funding thanks to nothing more than a skillfully delivered presentation.

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(Including Google, which considered retinal projection for Glass.) Avegant seems to have solved that problem in two ways: a frame that expands to accommodate different face widths and high-quality optical elements that can be individually adjusted.

Where most wearable displays have crude, fixed optics, Avegant's eyepieces wouldn't look out of place at an ophthalmologist's.

Somewhere within the tangled mass, hurriedly yet skillfully wiring this contraption together, is Ed Tang, CEO of a company called Avegant.

Avegant has produced this device, a wearable prototype he simply calls the Virtual Retinal Display for now.

Move over, Oculus Rift: Avegant's next-gen "virtual retinal display" projects images directly into your eyeballs.

CNET's Tim Stevens checks out the prototype, and gets all the details from Avegant CEO Ed Tang.

NEW YORK -- It's a jumbled tangle of wires sitting on the table, seemingly enough HDMI cables to wire up the home entertainment section of a Best Buy.

A few splitter boxes and other miscellaneous attachments are arrayed in line. On the other, something rather rarer: an oversized pair of prototype glasses with exposed circuitry and some delicate 3D-printed components.

"Then we really went to work." The first fully functional prototype of the headset came together on July 6 of this year, while the current version you see here dates to September.

Evans downplays this speedy progress: "We've been moving very quickly." The challenge had been getting the optics and the core mechanics of the device in place.

Everything connected, Tang hands over the device and helps get it adjusted.