ODG's oxygen mask has an AR display to help save pilots' lives

I feel the need... the need for an AR live feed
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ODG, aka Osterhout Design Group, already has a range of smartglasses on the market, but it's now looking to something quite different: an AR oxygen mask.

At the 2018 Augmented World Expo, ODG was on the show floor to demonstrate a working model of the mask, which it's named SAVED - for Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display - and has designed for commercial airline pilots.

Read this: HoloLens is finding its way into the operating theatre

But why? According to Nate Klatt, ODG's senior director, about eight times a month, an aircraft cockpit will become filled with smoke. This obviously makes it difficult for pilots to see, and will lead to an emergency landing if the smoke cannot be quickly evacuated.

FedEx approached ODG to make a wearable that would allow pilots to make a safe landing should such a situation arise - and this mask is the fruit of that labor.

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While it looks like a standard oxygen mask, inside there's a heads-up display showing a view from the nose of the plane. I was able to try it on and see a video depicting what that feed would look like in an emergency situation. I was able to clearly see a night-vision view of an approaching runway, though thankfully I wasn't asked to do my best Maverick impersonation.

Klatt said getting the mask through FAA regulation has proven tricky, given that this is unchartered territory for AR. But Klatt said that they're almost through the process, and that SAVED should be a fully-fledged, usable AR mask very soon.

And although it's been designed for FedEx use first, ODG plans to bring its technology to civil and commercial aircraft manufacturers and the military in the near future.

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Hugh Langley

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Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.


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