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U.S. Navy researchers develop an Augmented Vision Display Helmet for divers

The U.S. Navy researchers have developed a new diver’s helmet with built-in HUD (Heads-up Display) with helpful information and services for divers, which looks similar to one of Tony Stark’s prototypes in the movie Iron Man. The new high-tech gadget looks cool and it could be more effective and safer too.divers-augmented-vision-display

There is a buzz in the tech world about the Augmented Reality technology, through which users can watch images, information, maps and other useful things on the overlay of their transparent viewpoints. We haven’t seen this tech in the mainstream consumer devices, because it is not completely ready yet. Now, it looks like the diving community is going to get the tech before anyone else, very soon. The Navy researchers called the helmet DAVD – The Divers Augmented Vision Display.

Diving is a pleasant experience on the outside and for the divers too, but they also face clumsiness and isolation during the dive. Major issues they face is the restriction of the field of view and the thick neoprene gloves worn to hands. Fiddling with a wrist-mounted display for satellite and sonar data was also not so pleasant so far. Now, when the new DAVD thing comes to the market, divers can check their location, view sonar and satellite data right in front of their eyes along with a larger viewpoint with the newly designed helmet.

Underwater Systems Development Project Engineer Dennis Gallagher, who is leading the research team, said in a Navy press release:

“By building this HUD directly inside the dive helmet instead of attaching a display on the outside, it can provide a capability similar to something from an ‘Ironman’ movie. You have everything you visually need right there within the helmet.”

According to the researchers, any information could be transferred to the Divers Augmented Vision Display from the ship or boats that floats on the sea surface. Ships could also send birds-eye imagery as well. Maybe the team could add a few tiny cameras onto the helmet to help the divers to view from all angles, especially in low visibility conditions such as darker underwater, muddy water, night time, etc..

Researchers face tremendous challenges when building this helmet, especially adding the wireless capability of HUD into the pressurized suit, and to show the illusion of depth in front of both eyes of divers. The team is located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division and the device is in prototype phase now. Remember Google Glass? This is said to be much more than a Google Glass underwater.

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One comment

  1. Any diver will tell you the more electronics you have underwater, the greater the chance it will fail. Better test that hat rigorously before giving it to dive lockers to use.

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