We got a pair of goggles with built-in head mounted display (HMD) and GPS/gyro/altimeter in order to see if they would be useful for kiting, if the electronics could be hacked to display other information, and to learn about the design of the display and optics. The goggles, called “Transcend GPS,” were produced by Recon Instruments and Zeal Optics, primarily for the snowboarding market.
In kiteboat tests last week, we found that the display was not very convenient for viewing while flying a kite, since the user must look down to see it. The display optics are large enough to be obtrusive even when removed from the goggles, and would not fit well on a helmet or glasses. The display hardware is a Kopin 230K micro LCD designed for applications such as video camera viewfinders. It is controlled by a Kopin A220 display driver IC. A mirror and lens make it possible to read the display from a few inches away without refocusing one’s eyes.
While the electrical interface makes it relatively simple to control the display with our own hardware, the physical design of the device makes it less than ideal for our application.Return to News