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Hardware Hacking Build

DIY Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display 39

mkwan writes "A PhD student in Melbourne, Australia, has built an augmented reality head-up display using a baseball cap, an Android smartphone, and off-the-shelf optics. It won't win any awards for style or practicality, but it's a fun way to use Wikitude. All we need now is a Terminator-vision smartphone app." Not nearly as modern, but vaguely related: the Private Eye P4.
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DIY Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display

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  • by rebelwarlock ( 1319465 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @03:45AM (#39411089)
    It must also augment his reflection in the mirror if he thinks he should go outside with a smartphone and a block of styrofoam taped to his hat.
  • 1. Make mountable earpiece with technician one-ear headset.
    2. Link lens to single eyepiece.
    3. HUD app.
    4. Make deliberately fragile and cheap.
    5. Infinite business as geeks the world over keep buying them to crush while screaming that it's over 9000.
    • by Saija ( 1114681 )
      6. ???
      7. Profit
    • You mean like the android-phone connected ski goggle systems that already exist? [reconinstruments.com]

      Its not quite a HUD yet (more of a screen in a part of your vision that would be obscured by the goggles) but its pretty cool. Far less than $9000 although still more than I'd be willing to pay--would be kind of cool to get some live stats plus trail maps showing where all of your friends are on the mountain.

  • He could have reduced the CV value of the gear if he didn't use double mirroring - i.e. the phone could be horizontal, screen down. One fewer mirror is better quality. Software can mirror the screen contents (I tried an Iphone in a similar setup, using the car windshield as the mirror). As a next project, the camera could continuously monitor the user's eyeballs and determine where in the real life and on the screen he is looking at, including depth! Also, whenever an image is shown on the screen to augment

    • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
      The dual mirror is easier... because requires no screen flipping. But you're right, if you get to fiddle with the device (phone) and flip the screen contents, then a single mirror is better as there's less light losses.
  • ...and the the first thing he looked at WASN'T porn. Which would be a first for any new display technology
  • I guess the whole point of it is to say that it is rather easy to create a (although perhaps rather ugly) HMD. Which is nowhere for use by common folk. The whole point of it proving that there is no real excuse for there not to be on the market other than no demand for it.

    Say what you want, but he at least managed to get it working. Which I didn't, and I haven't seen somebody selling one of those.

  • by BlueLightning ( 442320 ) * on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:04AM (#39411957) Homepage Journal

    Seems like augmented reality has been a popular research area in Australia for a while. At LCA a few years ago there was a presentation by another PhD student on his AR project and I even got to try out the gear (somewhat bulkier than this latest one though):

    http://www.tinmith.net/ [tinmith.net]

  • While his project is cute, there are already commercial solutions [buytvhatnow.com] that are pretty much the same thing.

    P.S. I am not responsible if you decide to AR while biking on real roads...

    • by mkwan ( 2589113 )
      The TV Hat looks awesome, but it's a virtual reality setup, not augmented reality. You can't see where you're going while you're wearing it.
      • The TV Hat looks awesome

        You must have been a brilliantly easy kid to buy Christmas presents for.

        No, mummy and daddy, I don't need a silly Nintendo DS or iPad. Who needs that when I can have this awesome dirty piece of string tied to a stick?

    • Maybe I'm too jaded, but that TV hat is just a joke, right?

  • A PhD student in Melbourne, Australia, has built an augmented reality head-up display using a baseball cap, an Android smartphone, and off-the-shelf optics.

    Does it have to be a baseball cap? Can I have mine in a propeller beanie or a leopard-skin pillbox hat? Maybe a motorcycle helmet because you know I'm going to be crashing into all kinds of stuff trying to ride my bike while I play Counter-Strike on this thing.

  • not augment it, but then I realized that it would just go faster and faster the longer I was in it. That's when I decided to go back to bed.

  • It's sloppy, it has no "value," it will not win awards,.... and that is how progress is made. Value is he went and built something, unlike everybody else simply buys. He has an idea, ideas are a time a dozen, and he created something of substance and that takes time and expense. During that time, he learned what works, what doesn't work, and what parts and tools needed to build things.

    I've been going through something similar of packaging 900MHz amateur TV transmitter and a receiver in a box for field use.

  • if I could build one of these into my motorcycle helmet & have Google Nav on my face shield

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson