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Delivering contextual information in a hands-free experience, optimized for users engaged in action sports

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Uno-sport (Delivering contextual information in a hands-free experience, optimized for users engaged inaction sports)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-08-31

Technology plays a vital role in many sports. Today we have technologies capable of measuring many parameters for different sports and sport technology is today considered a large market on its own. However, in most active sports, the technology is missing a key component – A display which is safe to use while playing/practicing the sport. To date, the technology has relied on displays (such as using a smartphone) however this poses a safety issue in any sport. Imagine cycling down a road and looking at your smartphone for directions! Lately a number of Augmented Reality glasses have been introduced into the market which provide the user a display near his/her eye which is a step in the right direction. However, all AR glasses in the market rely on a prism mounted near the right or left eye. This blocks the field of view and in sports this becomes a bigger issue and hazard. Through this project, our aim is to introduce a new AR glass that relies on a projection display that uses a glass lens, and a projector mounted in the frame of the glasses to project onto the lens without blocking the field of view of the user.

One of our main objectives is to conceive an AR system that pushes the boundary of the AR devices beyond the industrial uses that our legacy product GlassUp F4 AR visor assured. More precisely, we want to enrich the fitness and health sectors with the great experience of the AR. The integration of the AR in the bike sector will improve the engagement of the cyclists, giving them more safety through a rear-view real-time feedback as well as augmenting their user experience with fitness and health data. In addition, the integration between the AR and the widely spread Fitness and Health utilities apps will be helpful to improve the overall health status of the society. The project is also a step forward to promote cycling in everyday life by providing a means to travel whilst still getting access to important notifications from a smartphone which are considered today as essential particularly in many business and finance related jobs.

We focused on the AR Cyclist Helmets, because we believe that the integration between helmets and AR is of great commercial interest for the future development of our company. The values of safety and comfortable user experience are key elements in the definition of the optical system. We discarded a projection in the centre of the field of view to avoid any impair of the user attention. A non-see-through system is positioned above the centre of the field of view. Furthermore, this system choice does not comprise a combiner, which might be an injury hazard in case of accidents. Through Uno Sport, we are giving many computers, gadgets and smartphone apps, a safe and comfortable to use display which is safe to be used even while cycling.
Technical Objectives

The work on the new optical module design was focused on the reduction of the aberrations: distortion, chromaticity and blurriness. Furthermore, a new backlight system was designed to achieve both higher brightness uniformity and chromatic alignment with CIE1931. After a series of design reviews based on the trade-off between the power consumption and the required optical specifications, we reached the currently adopted solution in September 2018. The following is a list outlining the main work achieved:

Direct non-see-through projection of AR experience into the field of view of the user: the field of view of the user is not obstructed neither by a combiner nor by a physical monitor, instead we have chosen a configuration that integrates directly into the front visor.

Enhanced AR optical module: to refine the previous one (mounted on the F4 AR Glasses). The achieved results boost the performances in several fields such as better image clarity, better contrast, better color fidelity, diminished image deformations and diminished unwanted ghosts/artifacts

Enhanced electronics system: based on a System On a Module (SOM) capable of great performances with low battery drain.

Latest Android OS allows to access reliable and new methods to connect to external peripherals, to develop more customized Grahical User Interface, to reach stronger level of security and less battery power drain.

Improved Power efficiency through the integration of low power communication (BLE) to external devices, power optimized OS (custom Android), custom low brightness Graphical Interface, optimized back-light using low-power LED array.

Commercial and Communication objectives

To pursue our commercial and communication targets, we undertook several activities including: definition of brand identity, creation of dedicated web site and Facebook page, selection of first cluster of testers and possible dealers, press release, newsletter communication. GlassUp also attended trade-shows, notably Cebit and FaRete and TE2018, during which the GlassUp team have been doing direct marketing (and, in part, dissemination) with possible future partners and clients.
The current state of art of an AR cyclist helmet does not really exist. Actually, the market does not offer such a commercial solution. The nearest solutions are based on the use of prism based AR glasses which, as outlined, are not safe for cycling or any active sport for the matter. Thus, our Uno Sport Helmet will be one of the first if not the first AR helmet product.

During this reporting period we have advanced the State-of-the-art in a number of ways:

Improved optics in micro-displays – This allows us to have crisp and clear images even in direct sunlight in sport activities which is a challenge for any display.

Improved electronic subsystem and integrated the Android operating system in the glasses – Allowing us to improve the graphics and connectivity with all the health and fitness devices on the market

Improved Power efficiency – allowing us to sustain over 4 hours of operation such that the device can be used through a session of cycling training or recreational activity.

Integrated Uno Sport in a Helmet, providing better comfort and safety for the cyclist and giving us a better strategy by partnering up with popular cycling helmet manufacturers such as Salice.

Overall, through the work in this period, we are providing the cycling market and subsequently other active sports, a device capable of acting as a safe display for the many device used in active sports including but not limited to, health and fitness devices, smartphones, navigation devices, etc.

GlassUp has received great recognition from experts, potential clients and big players in the market. In addition to Salice a leader brand in cycling equipment Companies like Technogym are eager to collaborate with our company for novel projects. A large interest has been also spreading among other sports companies (Gymia) and manufacturers of other kinds of helmets (Dainese & other confidential customers).
Final Product - Semi-Top View
Prototype - Top View
Prototype - The Frame comes Together
Final Product - View from the Inside - Note the Projector
Prototype - Electronics Modules, Visor and Display
Final Product - Back View - Note the Camera for the Rear-View Mirror Effect
Final Product - Side View with Control Buttons