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US Navy divers go Ironman with DAVD

The US Navy’s new augmented reality helmet pushes diving into the twenty first century

A new high-tech diving helmet being developed by the U.S. Navy will incorporate augmented-reality technology to help keep naval divers safe on underwater missions and help them complete missions faster.

Dubbed the Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD) the helmet will have a high resolution HUD that allows divers to see instrument readings and other data directly on the transparent display without having to lower their eyes.

“By building a HUD directly inside the dive helmet instead of attaching a display on the outside we’ll be able to give our divers a capability similar to something out of an Ironman movie,” said Dennis Gallagher, an underwater systems development project engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division.

“You have everything you visually need right there within the helmet.”


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DAVD will offer divers real time information, ranging from diagrams and text messages to sonar information and by having this operational data in real time, the US Navy’s divers will be able to work more effectively and stay safe on their missions.

“Instead of having to rely on pre-dive briefings to determine what they are looking for, how specific items should appear and where they may be located, the DAVD system places the information right before divers’ eyes,” he said.

The system can be used for underwater construction, salvage operations ship husbandry and even bomb disposal and, eventually, the system could be could be used by first responders and the commercial diving community.

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