Scuba diving is incredibly dangerous, because human beings are not designed to live underwater. Sure, we’ve gotten pretty good at designing machines that work where it’s wet, but personal travel underwater is still limited to strapping a bunch of compressed air on your body and hoping for the best.
The Navy’s new heads-up display diving helmet won’t necessarily change that aspect, but it could be a huge improvement for divers working on complicated and dangerous projects underwater.
The Diver Augmented Visual Display helmet, or DAVD, combines a sort of VR headset with a bulky, old-school diving helmet. It appears to slightly limit the diver’s field of view, but it more than makes up for it by allowing the diver to see all sorts of data readouts and augmented-reality information while they’re under water.
“By building this HUD directly inside the dive helmet instead of attaching a display on the outside, it can provide a capability similar to something from an Ironman movie,” Dennis Gallagher, and Underwater Systems Development Project Engineer said in a press release. “You have everything you visually need right there within the helmet.”
The Navy says the helmet could help divers get real-time updates on information while they’re on-mission — before, underwater workers often had to rely on pre-dive briefings for much of their tactical information, especially digital data that they couldn’t carry with them. According to the Navy’s release, the system will give them real-time displays of their location in the ocean, text messages, diagrams, photographs, as well as other augmented-reality aids.
Check out the video below: it’s not a slick as Tony Stark’s hologram-heavy helmet-cams, but it looks like it’ll do the job.