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 Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)

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Mandalore the Uniter


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So after listening to NPR this morning, I decided to check Alibaba.com for low-cost electronics that may be useful for kits.  The cool thing about Alibaba is that it connects you directly to manufacturers in China/Asia, no middle men.

While browsing this morning, I just had the itch to see if they had anything in the HUD realm that could be useful...since this has been the singular most requested piece of helmet electronics since the beginning of MMCC.  After some careful searching, I found this little beauty right here:


This looks to be a true HMD optical engine module produced by a Chinese company.  It will work with smart devices, but I don't know how much this device will cost.  I've contacted the company to see how much 1 device would cost for prototyping purposes, but if the price is affordable ($200 or less) then we may have a very viable solution for the in-helmet HUD.

 ;)

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Jerek Darr


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #1 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:00 AM »
Focal length has always been the bane of the practical HUD. Where this appears to use a prismatic focal screen, we may see this hurdle surmounted.

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Carid Vhett


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #2 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:03 AM »
How would that fit in the helmet, looks kinda chunky, and most helmets do not have that much room.

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Oryon


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #3 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:25 AM »
That's definitely cool, but it seems like the only way it'll fit is as the top of a rangefinder, which could be dangerous to it's health...

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Dresdon Acacin


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #4 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:29 AM »
Hmmmmmmmmm.....very  interesting....Ive  heard of flexible wafer thin LCD screens but how to  focus on that..

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Vraeden


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #5 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:38 AM »
You could also mount it to the exterior of the helmet, on one side of the T-visor, like the IHADSS on the Apache pilot helmet.  That would look a little funny and bulky, but it could work.

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Mandalore the Uniter


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #6 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:43 AM »
This is a very small unit, about 1.5 inch long by .5 inch wide.  It could easily be statically mounted inside the helmet to slide over your dominant eye when you put the helmet on.

Think Google Glass, but in your helmet. 

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Mandalore the Uniter


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #7 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:47 AM »
Hmmmmmmmmm.....very  interesting....Ive  heard of flexible wafer thin LCD screens but how to  focus on that..

As Jerek stated above, this uses prismatic focus...basically a tiny RBG LED is projecting the image into the prism which sits in front of your eye.  I really hope this company gets back to me, and I hope the price is do-able.  If this unit will work with a Raspberry Pi, then the prospects of what could be done are just about endless.

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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #8 on: Sep 04, 2014, 09:55 PM »
Looks like these are going to be $120 - $150 depending on the size.  That's actually a LOT cheaper than I thought, but the company also sent me a data sheet with full specs and pin-out.  I'll dive into that when I have some free time tomorrow and see if this is something that can be adapted to work with existing low-cost tech. 

Very promising.  :)

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Dresdon Acacin


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #9 on: Sep 04, 2014, 10:22 PM »
Hell if you can get a schematic and the optical components you could  build your own prototype!

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Ahn'vil Burk'yc


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #10 on: Sep 05, 2014, 08:29 AM »
following with great interest :)

Mandalore the Uniter


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #11 on: Sep 05, 2014, 10:57 AM »
Hell if you can get a schematic and the optical components you could  build your own prototype!

You would have to get the driver board professionally made, as the components are just too small for hand soldering.  Not to mention getting the prism cube made, which also wouldn't be cheap.

$120 is actually a VERY good price for these.  The hurdle currently is how to drive the unit without adding a bunch of bulky circuits.  I've found a DIS-HDMI display shield build over on Hackaday that *may* work for running the HMD off a Raspberry or Banana Pi using the HDMI plug. 

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Korran Orainn


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #12 on: Sep 05, 2014, 11:42 AM »
An incredible find, Mand'alor!

Given the tech, $120 is a really good price.

The hurdle currently is how to drive the unit without adding a bunch of bulky circuits.  I've found a DIS-HDMI display shield build over on Hackaday that *may* work for running the HMD off a Raspberry or Banana Pi using the HDMI plug. 

Raspberry Pi should do the trick!
Koran

Oryon


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #13 on: Sep 05, 2014, 11:51 AM »
I wonder if you could hook two up.... Maybe one for targeting an the other for all the other HUD systems, then you could close one eye and focus on your target tracker.

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Mandalore the Uniter


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Re: Maybe...just maybe...I've found the HUD solution (HMD)
« Reply #14 on: Sep 05, 2014, 03:30 PM »
Raspberry Pi should do the trick!

My only worry about Raspberry Pi (I have a model B already) is that there is no stable Android OS for it, and I would really like to have Android running the helmet show due to the ease of app creation and what's already available.  That's not a game breaker, but the Banana Pi seems to be a better option (both hardware and software) than the Raspberry Pi currently.

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