Experienced pilot or not, visibility is a huge concern when you’re up in the air. So serious, in fact, that something like smoke can create dire and life-threatening situations.
According to the FAA, typically there is one smoke related emergency landing per day.
Necessary or not, smoke doesn’t really make it easy to do much of anything, let alone land aircraft effectively. How do you land such machinery when you can’t even see the instrument cluster? How do you direct aircraft and steer when you can barely see the outside world through a thick plume of smoke nestled in the cockpit?
It’s tough, sure, not that any of us non-pilots would understand. Luckily, FedEx has a solution, thanks to a collaboration with Osterhout Design Group. A hybrid smart mask!
SAVED Is a Hybrid Smart Mask for Pilots
Check out this awesome hybrid smart mask, called SAVED.
Technically, the device doesn’t fall in line with traditional “smart glasses” like Google Glass and the like. Instead, SAVED—or Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display, as it’s called—is a hybrid mask that integrates smart glasses and an oxygen system.
Obviously, the oxygen mask function is straightforward. It allows pilots to remain conscious and access fresh air even in a threatening, smoke-filled situation.
As for the embedded smart glasses, they can display crucial data from the aircraft’s HUD and paired external cameras. This allows pilots to see stats and readings about the craft’s performance, and also allows them to view surroundings for a more accurate and safe landing.
Osterhout says that the entire setup is relatively lightweight and easy to install in existing aircraft. That’s a big deal, considering smart glasses and AR-technology tends to be bulky in nature.
As expected, FedEx is the first customer that will be using this technology, for both training and real-world flight situations.
If it works out—and it seems like it will—there will likely be more customers and companies using a similar setup in the future.
I just want one of these bad boys to sit in front of my computer with. It gets hard to breathe in my office sometimes, especially when I haven’t showered.
Plus, it will also be a great thing just to have when the inevitable zombie apocalypse hits.