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Goggles offer ‘Direct-to-Eye’ data readout for Wingsuit Pilots

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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.

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.

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.

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

Goggles on, Jeb Corliss prepares for a leap

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