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HUD projected on window


toughbunny
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Hi all, super nerdy question alert:

I just watched the latest avengers movie, and as usual, I came back thinking "It would be so cool to have one of those holographic interfaces or Ironman's HUD display." This time, having joined the community, I thought I'd ask. I've done some research and found some similar projects, like the meta project (https://www.getameta.com), which actually hired the dude who designed the actual hud and interfaces used in the movies. Unfortunately, buying the developer kit seems to cost a lot of money. So I think, why not build it myself? Should be possible with the right combination of tools, sweat and dedication right? But I have no idea how to.

Basically, what I want is to design a HUD that will go on my office window, and do things like highlight streets relevant to a query, highlight buildings at addresses matching a query (we live on a hill, so my office has a nice view of everything), maybe project the location of stars at night, windspeed, that sort of cool thing. Does anyone know a) of any tools to design and execute the look and functionality of any of these elements and b) how to project the image i create onto the (large) window?

Thanks!

*Any* help welcome!

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A computer, a display, and a webcam. Those are the basic tools you would need to do this, the display would lay perpendicular (or at an angle less than 90 degrees) to the viewing panel (your window) also the display would have to show everything backwards. Then the computer would be used to do the processing, and the webcam would be used to view the buildings and streets outside your window. You may also want a GPS receiver to help out. You can do this with some serious graphic processing and/or just put everything in by hand.

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When I'm thinking 'HUD' I'm thinking what I had in my car where as I looked at the road ahead my current speed and the driving directions from my satnav would be projected onto the windshield in front of me. This only worked for the person sitting in the driver seat. The passenger couldn't see this, which is why I think your idea is impossible when you retain the window. You could replace it with a large monitor/tv but I don't think you want this so you might want to clarify a few more aspects of the concept. In particular you should contemplate this setup:

A

-------------------

B C

The HUD controls what happens on the line. How do you think it can do anything such that both B and C looking at A see the same thing? The best you potentially can achieve is when you allow this concept to work for 1 person in the room who can move from B to C. You'd have to track him in real-time and change what gets projected where based on his location.

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Most real car huds can be seen by the passengers. It's just an image being projected onto the window. Lot's of how-to's on the net for rolling your own. The hardest part is making it viewable in direct sunlight. You need a pretty bright display to make it work.

Now the fun part is what toughbunny is asking for. You need to account for your position in the room as to where the images are being projected. A kinect will fix this problem. Then there's the problem with projecting an image onto glass. It's really hard to do it like they fake it in the movies. What you're asking for is pretty much impossible. To get the angles right to be able to see the images, the projector has to be in line with your eyes, behind you, unfortunately your head will be in the way to see the images on the window. "Wait! They make short throw projectors!" you're saying to yourself. That's cool and all, but you won't be projecting onto a screen, you're projecting onto a mirror for all intents and purposes. You won't be able to see the images, unless you put an opaque film on the glass, and well, that kinda defeats the purpose.

Or just wait a few months for Hololens to be released.

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Ok, so the projecting on the actual window seems hard for now. What if I were to just have a webcam feed to a monitor, and add the "HUD" overlay to the image on a monitor? Less cool, but still pretty cool. Any tools for that you know of? (I'm talking designing the look of the HUD, as well as software to place the images in the right places, e.g. the right shaped blue outline over a building)

Thanks!

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Ok, so the projecting on the actual window seems hard for now. What if I were to just have a webcam feed to a monitor, and add the "HUD" overlay to the image on a monitor? Less cool, but still pretty cool. Any tools for that you know of? (I'm talking designing the look of the HUD, as well as software to place the images in the right places, e.g. the right shaped blue outline over a building)

Thanks!

Look into ar software for android or ios devices. That's basically what you're talking about now. Should give you a push in the right direction.

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Probably the easiest way would be to look into something like the Unity game engine (they have plenty of AR tools in their asset store) and use that. Then you could just use UnityScript, or C# (or Boo) to program it.

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So I checked out the Unity asset store, and it seems like the only ways to make HUDs have to do with associating things with objects in a game world, while I'm more interested in associating with objects in the real world, outside my window. Is there a way to do that?

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I think first, what is it you want on your HUD, and how detailed does it have to be. Then what platform are you building on, ie: arduino or some other open source hardware project that can power something like a small oled screen, and lastly, what kind of screen do you need, monochrome, 16 color or full HD, transparent oled, flexible, hard flat surface mountable, etc.

Figure out what you want to accomplish, buy the parts that power the screen you choose, and then work on how to set it up. Trial an error, it's how you learn.

http://bit.ly/1PkjprI

http://www.seeedstudio.com/recipe/

Edited by digip
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So I checked out the Unity asset store, and it seems like the only ways to make HUDs have to do with associating things with objects in a game world, while I'm more interested in associating with objects in the real world, outside my window. Is there a way to do that?

It will require work on your part. I mainly mentioned the Asset store due to many assets on there including Augmented reality assets and map assets, all you would have to do is set up a webcam, and make it "paint" the webcam's view onto the screen, then you could lay transparent images over the areas you want to highlight or list more info on to give it that effect. Keep in mind this is a game engine so obviously when you search for "HUD" it's going to display results for a video game "HUD", it would be better to search for AR or augmented reality.

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A lot of what you are asking for you would have to program yourself, unless of course you have plenty of expendable income to use. Even with what you have specified it is still a fairly broad question for this area so I can't tell you every thing that you are going to need. Your best bet is to just start working on it. The more you work on it the more you'll learn, and the more you'll figure out about what you need to put into place.

When I mention the Unity assets, they are not to be looked at as full feature implementations of what you want, it's best to look at them as something like:

"Ok, this does a lot of what I may need it to do, but it still doesn't do X, Y, and Z....so I'll do that myself."

Edited by Sildaekar
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  • 2 months later...

Just on the hud setup you can buy clear film (or even better liquid) that is used for clear projection screens, lay or roll it onto the glass then use a projector as a display for an old pc, pi, phone whatever and project desired images on it.

That's what use in my man cave and it works quite well.

Just remember that anyone outside will be able to see it also. And do not go cheap on the projector get a decent one with a high number of lumens.

you could then use a xbox 360 kinect to control it. Just search google on how to do this.

Edited by bytedeez
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These look interesting -

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! What parallel universe do they think they live in? The tech isn't there yet for this to exist. Maybe in another 20 years. Just the batteries alone would be bigger than this. So would the projector, and the circuit board.

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Well, they aren't that far yet, but they have a demo of what it looks like in it's current state (from this year)

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They do make a point of not showing you how large the thing is or how high up from the wrist the projector is to achieve that projection. Also, given the brightness I'd expect the wristband itself to get rather warm with prolonged use...

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They do make a point of not showing you how large the thing is or how high up from the wrist the projector is to achieve that projection. Also, given the brightness I'd expect the wristband itself to get rather warm with prolonged use...

Or if it has a power cord running to it or not. Pico projectors get pretty hot after a while.

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