Imagine if you went for a dive with an “Iron Man”-style dive mask that showed all the data you needed about your dive in front of your eyes, without impairing your ability to see the water around you.
Well, U.S. Navy divers this month are testing new components for a “next-generation” dive helmet that has a see-through heads-up display, or “HUD,” embedded inside the helmet itself.
The Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD) system enables a diver to have a real-time visual display of everything from location mapping via “sector sonar,” text messaging, diagrams, photographs and even augmented reality videos, according to the Navy:
“Having real-time operational data enables them to be more effective and safe in their missions — providing expanded situational awareness and increased accuracy in navigating to a target such as a ship, downed aircraft, or other objects of interest.”
U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Underwater Systems Development Project Engineer Dennis Gallagher says:
“We constantly engage with the operators; if there is a vision they have, we can make it happen. By having this type of positive on-the-spot feedback, you know you’re going down the right road.”
The Navy is currently developing new components for both helmet systems and full-face masks. Gallagher added:
“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.”
Granted, the technology right now is meant for military, first-responder or possibly commercial use, but who knows? Maybe a few years down the road, recreational divers will get a version they can play with?
For more info, check out the Navy story at navy.mil.