Goggles offer 'Direct-to-Eye' data readout for Wingsuit Pilots

Arms stretched out, air roaring past, wingsuit daredevil Jeb Corliss glances to an LCD display unit mounted in his goggles. He’s 4,000 feet high, gliding away from a cliff face. Air speed is 90mph, a micro LCD screen reveals, and he’s flying free into the wild blue.

That is the reality of a to-be-released goggle-based display product from Recon Instruments that Corliss has been testing. Built for skydivers, BASE jumpers, and wingsuit athletes, the goggles will offer realtime data to airborne human “pilots” via a mini LCD screen visible when you glance down.

recon goggle for wingsuit.jpg

On a small screen: Data on air speed, altitude, and glide ratio

“I was always wishing I had instrumentation while flying,” Corliss said. “All of a sudden we have a speedometer [and other gages]” to use to asses a flight, he noted.

Recon Instruments, based in Vancouver, has a similar product on the market now for skiers and snowboarders that offers speed, altitude, air time, and other stats. The inside-the-goggle LCD screen displays data garnered from accelerometer, GPS, and altimeter gages found onboard in a module hidden inside the goggle frame.

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Mock of Flight HUD screen interface

Glide ratio, air speed, and current altitude are some of the stats wingsuiters will get with the new product, called the Flight HUD.

To be sure, an instrumentation product for wingsuit pilots is certainly a niche area. Corliss, a top athlete in the sport, is making a push with Recon to get the product to market within a few months.

But Recon Instruments is not making the leap without market support. Indeed, the company is taking a Kickstarter-like approach: It’s pushing for the pre-order of 250 Flight HUD units from sky divers and wingsuit pilots before it will go into full production.

goggle data screen.jpg

Flight HUD module for goggles (LCD screen at bottom left)

If you’re into these kind of gravity games, you can order a Flight HUD now for $299. This includes the goggles and built-in LCD display unit. If the company reaches its goal, the Flight HUD goes into production for delivery by the end of this year.

—Stephen Regenold

Corliss wingsuit.jpg

Goggles on, Jeb Corliss prepares for a leap

Posted by Mike Barnett - 10/18/2012 07:38 AM

I’m tempted to order one just because they’re cool.

Of course, I thought the same thing about my Betamax and my 8 track tapes…

Posted by Andy - 10/18/2012 10:43 AM

What about for motorcycles!!

Posted by Soren Christiansen - 10/25/2012 06:16 PM

I am a regular skydiver and was wondering if you change the readout, I didn’t see the height shown. Also do you zero it when you are on ground for that dropzone?

Posted by Matt Talbot - 12/26/2012 01:46 AM

On the picture at the bottom, he is definitely not preparing for a leap. He isn’t even wearing a parachute… or a wingsuit, or a tracking suit, which is what this is being advertised for (glide ratio). Just thought I’d point that out.

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