Instructables

Glasses mounted video display to one eye - turn yourself into a Borg

Picture of Glasses mounted video display to one eye - turn yourself into a Borg

UPDATE 15th March 2013: I have newer better version of this now in another Instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Google-Glasses...

Believe it or not the real purpose of this project was not to play at being a Borg.

I needed to make some form of wearable head up display that also allowed me to work simultaneously, i.e. see what I was doing at the same time, to test the feasibility of a concept for a research idea I have had. I needed to for example be able to remotely watch a video screen with data on it and also later may want to view protocols, checklists etc on this "head up" display.

My interest in this is because I think wearable displays will be a valuable tool in hospital medicine, especially in anesthesiology.

The proper name for this is a monocular HMD (Head Mounted Display).

A number of video-glasses already exist for watching DVD's for example and these generate an image for each eye. The downside is that you cannot see your surroundings while wearing them.

So-called monocular (one eye) displays do exist but can be very expensive. I already had an old pair of Olympus Eye-Trek(TM) video glasses, which are (relatively) inexpensive and decided to hack them and embed one of the display units into a pair of workmans safety glasses.

Then, having made this display work, I used the innards of a wireless security camera / receiver combination to make the system work wirelessly and finally packaged all the circuits with appropriate batteries into a just-about-pocket-sized container.

This project might also interest the "wearable computer" fraternity. You could also attach an infra red camera to it to give yourself night-vison.

 
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Step 1: Another view of finished glasses

Picture of Another view of finished glasses

Here is another view.
The box on the left contains a video receiver from a low cost security camera video transmitter / receiver combination plus batteries, plus the drive circuitry from the Olympus Eye-Trek(TM) video glasses.
The small circuit board and one set of optics from the video glasses are mounted in the safety glasses on the right.

These glasses may look bulky but it is actually better than some commercial systems out there, very light in weight too.

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CD_tatro1 year ago
I noticed in your last hmd you said you had a camera hooked up to this I was wondering if this mod had a camera also and can would it be able to work with a smaller camera like the kind you find in those spy pen? I want to make one of these for soldering for some reason and I want to put a zooming camera on it..
IRDave1 year ago
John, I started out with a Microoptical CV3 that the cables failed after 3 years. I hacked a Vuzix 310 to monocular but the 1/8" round jack is bad on that after a year. What would you say to building me a more rugged unit for my IR camera? I alos like the idea of wireless if that's possible from my camera to my display.
where did you get the eye- trek glasses?
XenonJohn (author)  Laserbeamtoast1 year ago
Hi, I bought them around 2008. They sold them in an attempt to get gamers interested.

Currently working on a new version inspired by the eye-tap devices (google it) and of course the google-glass projects. Next one will not be mounted on a glasses frame and will be more borg-like just covering one eye (in miniature though). If it works will post an update instructable.
People say you look silly wearing these, well yes, you do. People say they have no real world practical application. I disagree, my application is very mundane. I have no intention of walking around the supermarket in them, nor do I want augmented reality necessarily.
I just want to watch downloaded TV on my attached iPod while simultaneously doing other things around the house, looking after children etc and this device will suit me just fine.

John
How is it even possible to see anything from that close?

I have glasses to help my vision, but if I try to see anything that close, it's just one big blur.
XenonJohn (author)  MillenniumMan1 year ago
Try a pair of regular video glasses. The image appears to be 2m away on a 52 inch screen.
Therefore your eyes stay focused on long distnance whether you are looking through my glasses or at the screen, therefore it all works OK no blurring or eye strain.

Would be great connected up to the forthcoming google augmented reality phone apps that are promised that will overlay information on the items of interest around you.

John
I was thinking that too. I assume there is a lens in front of the screen.
tpower42 years ago
Are u going to patent this.
blckthng4 years ago
If i remember correctly, the two screens on a the ipod thing is focused about 2 meters away, so that the image is "46 inches from 5 feet" or something, would using just one, sorta mess up the optics? make it a tad blurry or something like so?
 could you use a digital photoframe keychain? i have already hacked it to have calendar and to do lists
Problem is getting one to get video input.
thakvongsa5 years ago
does it matter what kind of video glasses is used to make video display on one eye? thanks,
benjgvps5 years ago
I wonder if you could use the eyepiece from an old camcorder for this, could be bulky, though cheap.
Indeed you can, and I've done it! I didn't use glasses though, I used a bicycle helmet to mount the display. There is somewhat of a plus to using the camcorder also, as the driving circuits for the camcorder eyepiece are built in to it. The entire part will work anywhere between 5 and 9 volts, and takes composite video signal.

http://www.clydeshaffer.com/clydeshaffer/hmd.htm for pics because I haven't made an instructable for it.
haha very nice use of VEX. it is expensive though amazing! I to made a project but put in a camera and some IR lights which are on an amazing board might I say.
hey how old are you? ps your supercat game looks fun
I'm 18 and finally finished with the monotony of high school and moving on to a university specifically chosen for promising not to bore me! :D
how far along is your spuercat gamei going to download the beta
It's a few levels along now, theres the starting level where you find the armor, the next level which has a basic puzzle and a tank boss, then the fire level which is in two parts and has a turret miniboss and a incomplete super hovercraft turtle robot boss encounter. due to technical issues I am restarting the project as a Source engine mod with new graphics and a re-done character model
cool and can you give a link to the beta i can't find it
Intelligent Image Processing by Steve Mann is a pretty good (not too detailed though) guide to making eyetap (mediated reality) devices. It's got the trig formulae to calculate where the diverter should be and how large, ect. Anybody know a good place for cheap displays?
If you can manage with B&W display, the viewfinders of old video cameras is pretty good. I have one of these I've been dying to experiment with, maybe this instructable will kickstart my butt into doing it. This old camera was a Sony, but I'm sure they all have something like that. Also - these days you can get REALLY cheap small digital picture frames, may be worth investigating those? Since you're not after gaming frame rates, these may just be the ant's pants - and they're colour...
ants don't wear pants...
no, they do not
... you obviously don't socialise with the right kind of ants... %) See below for a better idea - I've now begun to look around 2nd hand shops for a suitable cellphone, may be much easier to interface.
unfortunately, a lot of the screens on those micro picture viewers are rather, rather terrible quality. I mean seriously terrible.
A cell phone could yield a cheap pinhole camera plus colour LCD screen (if you were careful about removing the connection ribbons from the PCB maybe you could even use the phone as an internet connection).
Wow awesome idea - and if you get a reasonable phone with an good OS and wifi then a lot of your work is already done! One application written in Java could snaffle camera output, send it to a base unit which would process it and add captions/markup, and send the augmented image to the display.
Here is a link to the textbook I mentioned that includes all kinds of great wearable computing/mediated reality stuff.

http://www.cvc.uab.es/intra-web/Wiley%20-%20Intelligent%20Image%20Processing.pdf
demonbabi135 years ago
is there any way to make it "slimmer"? what i mean bby that is less bulky because when you mount everything, its glasses with a hunk of plastic and stuff. any suggestions?
muffinhead5 years ago
now you can be just like the batman! except maybe not as discreet.. great i'ble! :D
This seems really hard. I wanted to do this for an experiment I plan on doing--but this seems like it might be out of my league. And I'd like to do it in 3-D
rbhavanirao5 years ago
I suppose the gadget can be modified to get a 3 D picture .Each human eye gives an image of an object individually to the brain. Because the each eye gets and gives the image at a slightly different angle , the images transmitted to the brain are slightly different. From these two images the brain constructs the 3D image. EVen a single eye transmits images at different angle by its rapid movement.The 3D image by two eyes is superior to 3D image of a single eye.

I copied following passage from the link http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761584746/three-dimensional_image.html

Three-Dimensional Image, or 3-D image, flat image enhanced to impart the illusion of depth. Humans perceive the world and the objects in it in three dimensions—breadth, width, and depth. This seemingly simple phenomenon is the product of a complicated set of interactions between our eyes and our brains that is still not entirely understood. Our eyes are spaced about 6 cm (2.5 in) apart, which causes each eye to receive a slightly different image. The brain fuses these two images into a single 3-D image, enabling us to perceive depth. This way of seeing is called binocular vision, or stereoscopic vision

Go ahead and do it . This very useful in laporoscopic surgery. Already similar thing is developed it is very expensive.
Commercial 3D HMD's can be picked up starting about $300, new. The difficult part isn't viewing the 3D, or even necessarily convert his HMD to view 3D, it is finding or producing the source content.
Tinker835 years ago
you might neglect the prism, and use an opaque screen like a teleprompter. the colors would be a little washy, but you could see through the screen as well
IX Smith XI5 years ago
Is there one input for the screen.
IX Smith XI5 years ago
I bend looking for something for a long time YAAAAA!!!!!
bwpatton15 years ago
Actually they have one of these in Japan, I think I saw it on Youtube not too long ago.
imonsei5 years ago
yo dawg, we heard you like cars and racing games so we installed a video screen in your glasses so you can drive while you drive! EPIC instructable!
ljackson5 years ago
parallax sells a OLED display that is 128x128 with 65K colors, and 1.5" diagonal for $90. It also has its own embedded graphics controller. Don't know if that will work for a similar use. You could also use a prism out of a pair of binoculars to project from the screen. Just an idea.
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