Featured Prototyping

Battlespace Awareness:
HD Glass

High-Definition (HD) Heads Up Display (HUD) for Joint Ground Forces Rapid Reaction Technology Office

The Operational Challenge: The prevalence of smart phone applications for geolocation and information services has demonstrated how information can be a force multiplier for warfighters. However, increased battlefield awareness through smart phones, tablets, and laptops comes at a cost of reduced awareness of immediate surroundings. Heads up displays (HUDs) provide an alternative human-technology interface that leverages the full capability of a smartphone, while maintaining “eyes out” tactical awareness.

The Approach to the Challenge: The Rapid Reaction Technology Office with the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) sponsored an effort to transition a high-definition HUD developed for the Apache helicopter to ground forces. Existing HUDs have insufficient field of view and contrast to meet the operational challenges of joint ground forces. To meet these operational challenges, HD Glass uses a high-definition, high-brightness organic light-emitting diode (OLED) see-through display mounted on a set of ballistic eyewear. The system resembles a pair of sunglasses with a drop down screen. The display is integrated with sensors and electronics in a small, lightweight package that enables continuous, all day operation. HD Glass works with a variety of computing platforms, including Android operating systems, to provide an augmented reality overlay. The phase I prototype, completed in April 2016, demonstrates an operational fit and function. The phase II prototype, which will transition for Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and Army user assessment in September 2016, provides a versatile augmented reality interface.

The Benefits:
  • High-brightness, high-definition HUD in a simple, intuitive format
  • Wide field of view augmented reality overlay
  • Versatile design
  • Integrates with SOCOM’s Situational Awareness tool, the Android Tactical Assault Kit, and Army’s Nett Warrior smartphone
  • Provides continuous use, “eyes out” situational awareness in all conditions
  • Provides the ability to target, identify, navigate, and track blue forces