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Heads-Up Technology

Between last week’s post and this one, it’s looking like December is starting out as Automotive Month here at Critical Link.

This is really not surprising, as so many cool embedded and vision systems applications have been happening in the transportation world. One of the more interesting applications is Heads-Up Display technology (HUD).  HUD is a transparent way of showing information on the screen in front of someone, without having them have to look down. Originally developed for military pilots, it’s now making its way into cars. With HUD, drivers will be able to see dashboard information (and see through it) on their windshield, rather than have to take their eyes off the round to look down to find it.

The video linked here is from our friends and partners at TI, who have developed some very interesting HUD technology. In their words:

DLP technology enables augmented reality head-up displays that offer quality, high brightness, wide field of view and the flexibility to increase the virtual image distance, all in the driver’s natural line of sight.

A few years back, I test drove a car (for car mavens, it was a BMW M5, and I did my driving at the

BMW Performance Center – a really cool experience, by the way).  I couldn’t see the HUD at all – until the instructor asked if my sunglasses were polarized. Bingo! The polarization, unfortunately, wiped out the image.

Based on the video, there’s an entirely new level with the amount of detail that can now be displayed with DLP vs. what I saw a few years back (once I took my sunglasses off). And the display now appears to be way out in front of you, on the front of the car bumper, so you can really keep your eyes up and on the road.

Wonder if they’ve solve the polarization problem?

Anyway, I’m looking forward to having a car with HUD. Maybe next time…



For more from TI, here’s the link to their DLP Technology page.