back to article DARPA working on eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head hat

Maverick Pentagon boffins have decided to build a miraculous gadget – perhaps as small and lightweight as a pair of sunglasses – which will endow the user with zoom vision, various forms of nightsight, and act as a heads-up display besides. Perhaps best of all, the proposed kit would also offer "full sphere awareness" – that is …


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  1. Alfred

    Been there, done that, seen it returned with "not interested" written on it

    About a decade ago, I build a prototype very similar that provided a hemispherical (which we chose to essentially mean the ground up - this was really because the first lens/image reader combo I got my hands on to knock it together provided a hemisphere) view from any given location to a tiny tiny flip down screen that could be brought down to sit just above the wearer's eye. Turning your head would turn the view, thanks to the ickle inertial nav device I'd added; you could drive a tank with this thing without having to stick your head out, and ultimately could even have driven it remotely. The next step would have been giving the wearer multiple cameras to choose from (IR etc.) and link the whole lot back to a control station, enabling the provision of written text, photographs of targets, map overviews on request, the works.

    The Uk gov rep. wasn't interested so we binned it.

  2. Semaj

    Predator Helmet

    I want one.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Digital zoom?

    Do not want ...

  4. Gavin Jamie

    Wetware issues

    The real trick is going to be allowing the user to look around whilst zoomed in without vomiting. There will be major discrepancies between head movement and visual changes which are unlikely to be pleasant.

    1. Dale 3


      You mean like what people already do with binoculars? I don't think that will be a problem.

  5. Bob Dunlop

    Just the zoom!

    What no split screen or Quantel ?

    You'll be telling us the nipples don't work next.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Obligitory Red Dwarf quote on Kryten becoming human....

    K: My optical system doesn't appear to have a zoom function.

    L: No, human eyes don't have a zoom.

    K Well how do you bring a small object into sharp focus?

    L: You just move your head closer to the object.

    K: I see, move your head....closer to the object. Hmm. Oh right, OK. Well, what about other optical effects like split screen, slow motion, Quantel..?

    L: Nah, we don't have them.

    K: You don't have them? Just the zoom. No right that's fine, that's fine...

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  8. Identity


    My mother always claimed to have this function, and that was 50 years ago!

    OTOH, I can certainly wait for, "Oh God, my eyes have crashed!"

    Mine's the one hanging next to the white cane...

  9. Richard Porter
    Gates Halo

    Full sphere awareness?

    Surely this would require eyes in your feet too?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Useful for British troops

    advancing in front of US troops?

    Mine's the coat with the non-US flag on the back.

  11. ratfox Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Dastardly plan fomented by Google

    Now they'll be able to bring street view to staircases!

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Vernor vinge and Michael Crighton references

    The first from The Peace War, the 2nd from Prey.

    The first is a spherical sensor so that whatever way up it lands it can produce an image.

    The second was for an idea for sub wavelength imaging within a human body.

    A starting point for the software might be that used for confocal microscopy, along multi site light interferometry.

    Making it run in real time on a soldier portable system is likely to make it a bit more of a challenge.

  13. David Hicks

    I could have sworn I've already seen

    ... glasses with wing mirrors.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "glasses with wing mirrors."

      Dick Tracy, mid-late 1960s ...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Friendly Fire

    That will give the troops a great excuse for shooting their own. Something moved to the rear, oops.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Full Sphere of Awareness

    Not related to the Cone of Silence, perchance?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      No. *That* would be when a British inquest attempts to interview US soldiers under oath about friendly fire incidents.

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