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Hardware Hacking Technology

Wearable Computer With Lightweight HUD 150

zeazzz writes to mention that the folks over at UMPC have a very cool little writeup and pictorial of a user's latest wearable PC. With the surge in smart phone adoption it seems that enthusiasm for wearable computers has dropped off a bit, which is too bad. I certainly look forward to my augmented reality HUD instead of depending on my iPhone for everything. "Essentially he took the MyVu headset, removed one of the eye pieces, and mounted the other to his glasses to that he could see his surroundings and the UX's screen at the same time. The MyVu is attached to the UX through the A/V output port on the UX's port replicator dongle. With some additional addons he provided his UX with extra battery life via an external battery, and several input methods to communicate with the UX while the rest of the kit resides within the backpack."
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Wearable Computer With Lightweight HUD

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  • by Flea of Pain ( 1577213 ) on Monday July 27, 2009 @04:59PM (#28843617)
    And I would like to see someone hack one. LOL. Can you imagine walking down the street and seeing some guy suddenly freak out because his wearable computer started blaring music and showing totse images?
  • I think contact lenses make a lot more sense. Then you could remove them. They'd be a lot easier to upgrade as well. I don't see any reason they couldn't have their circuitry embedded in them off near the edge, and have power beamed in.

    Contact lenses might make a lot of sense as targets for a vision system like the one described in Snow Crash. Perhaps if you integrated some MEMS components into them they could contain a scanning mirror set, even, and perform a sort of DLP-esque function.

    If I'm getting an eye implant, I want a lot more than a HUD. I expect telescopic vision via electrowetting lenses.

  • Re:Holding my breath (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Monday July 27, 2009 @06:33PM (#28844785) Homepage Journal

        I still haven't seen one that truly interests me.

        What I want to find is a setup that hooks up to both a long infrared (thermal imaging) and a short infrared (night vision) cameras, and overlays the images on reality through the glasses.

        Imagine being able to not only see in the dark, but see the heat signatures from things.

        My dad experimented with long infrared with the Army in the 60's and 70's. In some of the books that he had published, he demonstrated interesting things. The equipment was huge and static. He'd set up for a shot, take the picture, and then process it. At best, you were looking at hours to see the result. You could see a residual handprint on the wall, inefficiencies of insulation, etc.

        Imagine seeing a real time feed overlaid over the world. Amazingly useful things would be seeing hotspots in a house, caused by overloaded power circuits or inefficient insulation. You may be able to see where someone had walked before you (temp changes in the footprints), touched items such as door knobs. Fire rescue would be able to see through smoke, take extra precautions on very hot doors, and very likely save more lives. Police could search darkened areas with ease, and avoid hostile suspects jumping out from the shadows. In every day use, you could see long distances ahead when you are driving at night, and even spot when someone you're talking to is lying.

        It could open up a whole new world for us.

        The idea wouldn't be very hard. You should be able to run a pair of fiber optic cables from the edge of a pair of glasses down to the cameras. A very small PC should be able to overlay the images in real time, and then display them through something resembling the glasses shown. I've been watching for cameras that are small enough, and are affordable. I have yet to find the kind of gear that I could afford. :(

        An extra overlay of other data could be useful too, without causing an information overload. The time, ambient temperature, some GPS data (heading, speed, altitude). Things that you'd see on TV are a bit fanciful right now, such as threat detection. Determining a car is on an intercept path and may cause an impact is a bit beyond what a portable PC can do, but a human can determine it quickly by seeing it.

        For fire/rescue and law enforcement, I would see it being amazingly useful to transmit that data back to a central location. Where or what happened? It would all be available.

        I know a lot of people hate cops, but a lot of them are actually doing something very useful for our protection. We simply don't see it all the time, because most of our interaction is with traffic cops who may or may not be right, but they'll write the ticket anyways.

  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:36AM (#28848639)

    He has a computer in his backpack and wears a headset. Compare with someone with a phone in their pocket, and wearing a bluetooth headset. I don't think even of them count as wearable computers. Yes, he's wearing a headset, and people talk about wearing bluetooth headsets with their phones too.

    The computer's output is definitely wearable. The big question is the input. Do you need to get your smartphone out to type stufff? Does it have voice recognition? Do you have an input device in your pocket that you can use without looking at it? Does it track your eye movement?

    Ideally it has both audible and visible wearable output, and several types of wearable input. But with even one type of practical output and one type of practical input, it'd count as a wearable computer in my book.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"