A project from the very beginning.
Ever since the start of AON2, we have been working on what we think is the holy grail in skydiving altimeters: a heads-up display.
A heads-up display projects your altitude and other data directly into your helmet visor or goggles, giving you unparalleled altitude awareness, no matter where your arms are. No more waiting for audibles to activate on a wingsuit or tracking dive. Achieve altitude awareness with a quick glance. The problem is, how can we make one?
In 2015, there were similar products like the Recon Jet (aimed for cyclists), which had an OLED screen that was focused at infinity, then placed just at the edge of a user’s eye. It was extremely simple, and we were able to quickly make a prototype working on a similar principle.
Unfortunately, these blocked the field of view, and despite a few skydivers using the skydiving version (Recon HUD) it never became popular and soon fell out of use.
After meeting some specialists in optics, in 2017 we managed to create a more advanced prototype. This time, you could see behind the display, and it was extremely thin at 3mm. Unfortunately, the display was too dim to see in bright sunlight. There was also the minor problem that it was a bit too thin – we don’t want to have breakable glass right in front of someone’s eye! However, we were getting close…
Now within reach!
Fast-forward to 2020. We finally got it! The latest prototype:
- is made out of tough polycarbonate
- has a see-through display
- doesn’t block the field of view
- is visible in bright sunlight
- in a glasses form factor that fits inside a skydiving helmet
Further work needs to be done on miniaturisation of the electronics, but this will be fairly straightforward.
What does it look like?
Our advanced flight computer, the X2, has the biggest screen of any skydiving altimeter on the market. If you put an X2 approximately 40cm from your face, it roughly simulates the apparent screen size of Project Obsidian.
With the X2, you can see your ground speed, glide ratio, distance and direction to the landing area, and of course, your altitude.
Project Obsidian will be customisable and we will ensure that the user does not experience information overload by careful design of the display.
We’ll need your support! We are finalising the development of the hardware this year, and we need to secure production slots and organise the supply chain. We will be opening for pre-orders at a discounted price, and only a limited number of units will be produced.
To help us create the best altimeter, please answer our customer survey at https://forms.gle/L6ftgJoyc4FWKKAi6 if you haven’t already. Also, please subscribe to our mailing list and follow our social media (Facebook and Instagram) to get notified of updates on Project Obsidian.
Finally, tell your skydiving friends! You can also support us by buying our products – we have the cheapest audible on the market, and the most advanced altimeter with GPS on the market. With your help, we can make Project Obsidian become a reality!