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Old Nov 18, 2012, 09:44 PM
Forensic Animation/Video/Photo
vislaw's Avatar
United States, CA, San Jose
Joined Nov 2011
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Using EPSON MOVERIO glasses and DJI iOSD to create a functional HUD

I shoot aerial photos and video for my forensic animation business as well as for my small film production company. For us, the DJI Groundstation has been very useful and we also have used a couple of video downlink setups to be able to precisely frame shots. On many occasions I have to fly alone and I have sometimes been uncomfortable with having to take my eye off of the aircraft in order to study the Groundstation and/or the video feed.

More than a year ago I became convinced that a true HUD would be extremely valuable to me (and, presumably, to other pilots). Of course, none of the headsets and FPV gear I investigated would provide what I was looking for. To the contrary, the last thing I wanted to do was to strap on some low-resolution goggles that cut off my view of the bird and its surroundings. The closest I found was this rather disappointing attempt at an HUD display by a guy in France:

Head up display for RC modelers (4 min 25 sec)


The fact that it’s been two years since that video was shot is probably a good indication of the likelihood that he will produce a usable product any time soon.

Thus, I was kind of taken by surprise when one of my partners in my film business mentioned that one of our good clients, EPSON, had contacted us in regard to a somewhat unusual set of video goggles they had developed called MOVERIO glasses. The kicker was that this head-mount display system uses a transparent projection technology. The first thing I thought of was, “Damn, that is essentially an HUD!” However, my enthusiasm waned when I learned that the rig had no way to input video directly as it was built using Google’s Android technology to be able to access the internet.

Sometimes serendipity reigns and things come together. First of all, DJI released its iOSD (On Screen Display) module along with a video downlink. Second, the engineers at EPSON cobbled together a video input board for us so we can feed composite video to the MOVERIO glasses. Thus, with no modifications or hacking at all, these components provide a functional HUD for DJI flyers.

The DJI system accepts the video feed from the Zenmuse gimbal/camera so that it also will allow you to switch to show live video from the aircraft. Thus, you simply put on the MOVERIO glasses and you can monitor all elements of telemetry and see the live video without ever taking your eyes off of the aircraft!
Moreover, it is also simple to use a cheap RGB to composite video converter on your laptop to feed the DJI Groundstation screen to the glasses as well. A simple unpowered 2-way video switch lets you switch between the Groundstation screen and the feed from the multi-rotor.

I have no idea how many flyers out there need this kind of capability and at $600 the MOVERIO glasses aren’t cheap. Nevertheless, I’m sure they will come down in price soon and, at least for us, it’s a no-brainer to be able to get all that telemetry data, positioning info and live video without losing sight of the copter for even a moment.

Here's a little video I made regarding this project:

Using the EPSON MOVERIO glasses with DJI-Innovations iOSD as a functional Heads-Up-Display (HUD) (5 min 36 sec)
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:29 PM
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I've been waiting for something like this. I have seen the pirate eyes but these look like they might work a little better. Cost is a little steep though. Thanks for posting.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Hi,
I have had very close look at the moverio when it has been announced months ago but I made a conclusion that this product isn't suitable for aerial activities for the following reasons :

- the semi transparent glass, even with the smoked lens doens't give enought luminosity on the OSD when it's daylight with bright sun. The image luminosity is divided by 2 because it's semi transparent.

- the open shape of the google is exactly the reverse of what we need to shoot: all the sun reflexion will come on the screen and disturb the good visualisation. We know this problem for a long time on other kind of video google like the heads up display and others. Thi point is critical especialy on monocular video google.

- the weight of this system seems important

I have tried top end product like the Laster's products and I can say that the luminosity problem is critical. The fact that the moverio shape is fully open will give for sure some bad light reflexions.

I have to say that I'm selling the piratEye so my comments must be submitted to your judgement.

When I was looking for this kind of stuff for aerial photography I have been seduced by the PiratEye because it answer very nicely to our problems: we need to have a look at the frame given by the camera and also to have a look at the flying machine. Monocular video google or HUD system can answer this problem. We also need very good luminosity and no reflexion on the display => LCD will always be brighter than a semi transparent system. a closed shape or a shape that is close to the face is important to avoid light reflexions. The weight and simplicity of the system is also a good point because when you are on the field, you can't bother you with tons of cables, converter and so on.

Perhaps a modded Moverio could be a good idea like you suggest: using a darker glass, closing the shape (especially on the upper part) to avoid light reflexions. But for a 600$ product, it's a bad thing to have to modify it to use it correctly in any situation don't you think ?

Best regards,
Cédric
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:18 AM
Forensic Animation/Video/Photo
vislaw's Avatar
United States, CA, San Jose
Joined Nov 2011
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Very good points and comments, Cédric. I'm going to do some testing under various conditions to see whether the MOVERIO can be usable.

I am very interested in trying out the PiratEye system too.

I totally agree with you that a $600 product shouldn't require modification. The EPSON product official we are working with is very interested in feedback to determine if they can do enough simple modifications that would make the product marketable in this field. Thus, I am sharing my findings with them in the hopes that they can determine what can and can't be done. They are already doing some modifications to the prototype in terms of weight and shape of the goggles.

Your thoughtful comments are MUCH appreciated and will be very useful as I do my testing. I also will plan to get a PiratEye unit to compare and contrast.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Vislaw

As you are a professionnal photographer, you are suely doing 75% of your work in bright conditions with lots of light. This is the weak point on all these systems.
After having tried several system my own conclusion is that a small LCD will always be brighter than a rettroreflected system, even in the case of the Laster's system where the light is directly projected into the eye.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 03:43 PM
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I actually bought a set of these from Amazon when they were first released but the limited input options really made it useless and I returned it. For $600 dollars it should at least have an HDMI in or maybe a wireless module that can be plugged in to whatever source youre using and then transmitted to the googles.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 02:08 AM
Forensic Animation/Video/Photo
vislaw's Avatar
United States, CA, San Jose
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Promising so far ...

I went out today and flew with the MOVERIO glasses and found the DJI OSD was quite readable against the sky. This evening I picked up a little 2-way video switcher and an RGB converter for the laptop so I can feed the DJI GroundStation screen to the glasses as well.

I've got good weather forecast in the morning and will shoot some footage of the setup and results tomorrow.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:32 AM
Forensic Animation/Video/Photo
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I was able to do some field testing and have written up a review HERE.

And here is an excerpt from the downlink feed to the glasses:
Excerpt of video feed from GH2/Zenmuse (0 min 48 sec)
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vislaw View Post
I was able to do some field testing and have written up a review HERE.

And here is an excerpt from the downlink feed to the glasses: https://vimeo.com/54152475
Any update on these goggles? Where are these available?

Regards,
Adarsh
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by adarsh_007 View Post
Any update on these goggles? Where are these available?

Regards,
Adarsh
I see you can get them from here http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/j...sku=V11H423020

Has there been any more developments and testing for UAV use?

Thanks
Craig
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Old May 07, 2014, 02:22 AM
Forensic Animation/Video/Photo
vislaw's Avatar
United States, CA, San Jose
Joined Nov 2011
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New MOVERIO BT-200 for P2 VISION Quads

The soon-to-be-released MOVERIO BT-200 is greatly improved and designed to work with the DJI P2 VISION quads. Post with links HERE.
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