HomeHardware


Wish List Request: Heads-Up Navigation Display
SpadesFlush
There has been a great deal of virtual ink spilt on this Forum about the placement of computer monitors in the vehicle driver's view, whether as a complete laptop, a tethered screen, or other devices. I would like to see manufacturers come up with a further option: a Heads-Up Display.

This has been available in aircraft, notably combat fighters, for decades and rudamentary automotive applications have been creeping into the high-end car market. But I would like to see this expanded beyond just speedometers and other basic automotive metrics to include navigation tools. For instance, I would like to be able to project navigation graphics, such as Streets and Trips 2010's Full Screen Navigation mode, onto the inside of the windscreen in front of me, although not necessarily centered on my straight-ahead field of vision.
Marvin Hlavac
Not exactly what some of us want, but an interesting concept nevertheless: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/180-virtual-cable-unique-display-car-navigation-system
SpadesFlush
Yeah, that sort of thing would be a start. It seems to based on some other navigation engine, perhaps proprietary. My notion would be to make it available as an add-on to existing hardware and software. That might help keep the cost down and assure maximum flexibility.
tcassidy
I think it has to be based on the vehicle and you would expect the display to be built in. It is difficult and expensive to project an image on a surface you can see through and may involve coating the windshield with something to make it more reflective. HUD is not exactly a cheap technology. I doubt it will be driven by the navigation software industry as the cost is almost entirely hardware based.

Terry
SpadesFlush
I selfishly propose the "I-want" and leave it up to others to deliver.
tcassidy
Here is one company interested in working with the auto industry on HUD. No indication of stand alone devices though.

Microvision: Head Up Displays

If you want to try something like this, get a pico projector that takes VGA input and hook it to a laptop. Then you can see if there is a location it could be mounted to project a usable image somewhere on the windsheild.

Optoma DLP Pico Pocket Projector Projector PK201

Terry
SpadesFlush
These pico projectors are starting to become mainstream, relatively inexpensive, and interesting. It might be neat, for instance, to hook one up to my Viliv S5 for 'large-screen' non-automotive projection...I'll have to think about that.

But in a HUD situation, one would have to convert the image left to right to offset the mirror effect (probably possible right now) and deal with the space limitations inherent to a vehicle environment.
tcassidy
I don't think image reversal would be an issue. This is not the same as looking at the screen reflected on the glass, but a true projection.

The major problem with them is low projection power. You need a moderately dark room to see the image. I'm not sure how they would work on a semi-reflective bright surface. Some are brighter but have heat issues. Still, very interesting.

Does the Viliv have VGA out?

Terry
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
I don't think image reversal would be an issue. This is not the same as looking at the screen reflected on the glass, but a true projection.
Doohhh! Of course, you are correct.

Quote:
The major problem with them is low projection power. You need a moderately dark room to see the image. I'm not sure how they would work on a semi-reflective bright surface. Some are brighter but have heat issues. Still, very interesting.
Just trolling the web this a. m., it seems image resolution is more of a problem. The Viliv native resolution is 720x1024 (or 600x1024) and that is just about the smallest I would want for navigating whereas the pico projectors seem to be more like 640x800. I don't know if that would work; I may want to wait for better resolution.

Quote:
Does the Viliv have VGA out?
Yes, with their proprietary adapter which I would have to buy.
tcassidy
From experience, I would say that resolution is not as big an issue as you might expect. These things are pretty low resolution but they seem to be able to scale up fairly well. I'm not sure how this is done but it was better than I expected.

I only have a composite input device and my only source of composite out is my Toshiba laptop. I seem to recall I tested it at 800x600 and the projected image (on a wall) was fair if dim.

Resolution is based on the number of mirrors on the DLP chip and I think it is divided by 3 as they only have one light source (for 3 colours). There isn't space for a colour wheel so I imagine the image is reflected off 3 surfaces through filters. More resolution means a larger DLP (and more power required) or some other method.

Terry
tcassidy
Another major issue would be stabilizing the projector. To be usable in a moving vehicle, the projector and screen (windshield) would have to be in sync as far as vibrations went. Any movement of the projector with respect to the screen would be magnified by the distance to the screen.

Terry
SpadesFlush
Yep. More issues than I feel like taking on. I am very happy with my Viliv S5, so such an undertaking would be a bit pointless.
taoyue
In aviation, HUDs are projected onto a flat 45-degree partially-mirrored surface, from a projector either above or below the surface -- not head-on. The system also uses a collimating lens to put the image out at infinity, so that your eyes don't get distracted by having to refocus. HUDs, even today, use vector graphics scan guns -- infinite resolution, so you don't see any pixellation.

Of course, you don't need every element for a hobby project. But there are good human-interface reasons for each element in the design.
tcassidy
Thanks taoyue. Very interesting information as usual! There are certainly aspects of a proper HUD per that description that would be hard to duplicate in a hobby environment. Sounds like colour is out of the question.

Terry
SpadesFlush
Thanks, a "hobbiest" HUD is beyond my interest or probably needs.

In my original post, I was thinking of a complete consumer product with all the difficult stuff worked out. I would still like to see that but I reckon I am incompetent to deal with all the engineering challenges such a product might entail and it might therefore be "impossible."

It was just a thought.
laptopgpsworld.com About