Posts Tagged ‘OpenHMD’

Ideas I Would Like to See Implemented

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 by Phillip Napieralski

Idea 1 – Open Design for HMDs

I work a lot with Virtual Reality equipment in my research. The most common is a Head Mounted Display (HMD). Unfortunately, there is no standard for a HMD. The HMD on my desk only works with Windows XP 32-bit, and only some of the time. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was some standard that all HMDs could follow so that it could work under Windows 7 and (ideally) Linux?

Something similar to what I’m thinking of has already been started for connecting 3D depth sensors to skeleton and gesture recognition (see OpenNI. is not registered with anyone. I see a great opportunity to start an open-source group. It’s sort of a niche idea right now, but this could allow the price of HMDs to decrease and make the group even bigger.

Idea 2 – Conversational Agent Droid App for Long Drives

I recently got back from a trip to Washington DC. I drove 9 hours there and 9 hours back straight through. The only thing that kept me awake after the 5 hour mark was a mixture of caffeine and conversation from my girlfriend. However, for people driving long distances without a passenger, they only have the unhealthy options of caffeine/sugar/snacking/loud music and at some point, that mixture can wear off.

Why don’t we create a simple conversational agent for the droid? The technology could be similar to previous research that my advisor has worked on before (see MARVE for a demo). The basic idea is to gather information from the internet (would could be handled, ideally, via 3G automatically) to give the virtual agent up-to-date jokes or movies facts. Then using simple voice recognition, the virtual agent could converse with the driver. One example in the youtube video for MARVE is the knock-knock joke. This could keep the driver engaged and awake.

Idea 3 – Windshield Projector

How cool would it be to use your whole car windshield, as a projection screen? Now you can remove the dash almost completely and have a bigger windshield which can use the lower space for MPH, RPM, and Temperature displays.

There is also rising research to reduce the number of accidents related to texting while driving. Voiceing technology originally conceived by Dr. Gilbert is one such approach. Their approach is to instead send short voice messages via the phone. Thus, the user could conceivably do everything without straying their eyes from the road.

My idea is to add an HDMI slot in the console of a car that has this projection technology. Now, you can plugin any phone that has a mini-HDMI port (for instance the Droid X) into the console and have a text message project directly on your windshield when you receive it. The one flaw in this: how would you reply to the text message? You would still have to look at your phone.


My mind is buzzing with ideas constantly. I’ll continue to post the ones I don’t expect to ever implement (although I would in a heartbeat if I had time or funding) in hopes that someone WILL take the idea and go with it. I simply think these products would be very cool and futuristic (and some of them practical :]). Seeing them implemented would be incredibly satisfying.