The programs that DARPA runs often result in some of the coolest hardware and gear for military and civilian use being invented. One of the cool things that DARPA and its contractors have been working on are holographic goggles that give soldiers a bit of augmented reality on the battlefield.
Liquid Image has been making goggles for scuba drivers for a long time now that have an integrated video camera in them to film the underwater wonders divers see for us land locked folks to enjoy. The company has announced a new line of goggles aimed at the off roader that wants to record their riding or skiing prowess.
There's been plenty of concepts in the past that showcase how GPS can be integrated into our every day life, without having to hold some kind of navigational unit in our hands, or even our phones. And while concepts are all well and good, especially considering many of them include plenty of advanced, almost futuristic technology, we're more exciting to see companies actually release something we can use now. Recon Instruments has just made their Recon-Zeal Transcend goggles available to order, in two variations, featuring GPS-based information in the first head-mounted display.
Over the years, you've probably been able to discern that we have a natural fondness for steampunk. We just can't get enough of it. And, we especially love when designs take on the popular trends in tech. Like, for example, the growing need to see things in 3D. There's no stopping it, so we might as well embrace it. Which becomes increasingly easy when we see things like the Kraken Steampunk 3D goggles.
Whereas iPhone owners may have gotten a so-so update, Nexus One owners finally have something to be upbeat about – Google has released an over-the-air update enabling multitouch (finally), Google Goggles (again, finally), and some 3G fixes (triple thumbs-up).
Kids today have it really good when it comes to sweet toys and gadgets. Back in my day, if we wanted to see in the dark we had to open our eyes really wide or go old school and get a flashlight. Today kids can get their own inexpensive night vision goggles.
Let's be blunt, you'd have to be a brave person (or entirely lacking in self-awareness) to wear these out in public. Yet after reviewing the Myvu Crystal 701 video glasses, Gear Diary's Dan Cohen seems surprisingly impressed. Promising the effect of a 4:3 aspect display viewed from 2m at 640 x 480 VGA resolution, the 701 glasses hook up to standard AV connections or, in Dan's case, your iPod to stop you from squinting at the relatively tiny screen.
These DIY batgoggles may have a well-intentioned purpose - to teach the principles of echo-location to kids visiting a science center - but they also could make midnight paintballing a whole lot more interesting (and/or painful). Bleeping angrily whenever an object or person is in front of you, they're part of Suneth S. Attygalle's "Dynamic User-centered Research and Design" project. Echo-location relies on bouncing high-pitched sounds off of objects in your path, measuring the time it takes for the sounds to return (or the frequency they return at) to calculate how close the object is.
Check out the video of the batgoggles in action after the cut