Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have initiated a program to test the effectiveness of using augmented reality to improve the performance of helicopter pilots. Although the research is in its infancy, early results reveal TUM’s new head-mounted display has helped users in a flight simulator detect and navigate through hazards, such as thick fog, blizzards, and gusts of wind. What would usually prohibit a pilot from even taking off may soon be resolved by a few simple adjustments thanks to the augmented reality technology being developed by these engineers. Geographical lines and real-time objects are combined with the flight data, such as speed, altitude, and course, which is then projected on the see-through, head-mounted display. Regardless of the actual weather conditions or other impending hazards, pilots in the flight simulator were able to move more quickly and safely, and reported feeling less strained physically and mentally when using the head-mounted displays.
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