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FlyViz puts eyes in the back of your head


December 13, 2012

The FlyViz displays 360-degree vision captured in a helmet-mounted camera on a Sony HMZ-TD Personal 3D Viewer

The FlyViz displays 360-degree vision captured in a helmet-mounted camera on a Sony HMZ-TD Personal 3D Viewer

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Those just as concerned about where they’ve been as where they’re going might be keen to give the “FlyViz” a go. Created by a team of French researchers to expand the scope of human vision, the prototype system captures vision on a 360-degree camera attached to the top of a helmet that is processed in real time and displayed on Sony’s HMZ-TD Personal 3D Viewer, giving the wearer a 360-view of their surroundings.

The camera on the current prototype, which is the result of two years work by the research team, captures video at 640 x 480 pixel resolution. However, the plan is to up this to 720p with a scan rate of 60 Hz and a latency of 83 ms for the final prototype that is set to be unveiled at the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST) currently underway in Toronto.

To make it suitable for display on the HMZ-T2’s twin 0.7-inch OLED displays, the video is processed on a laptop carried in a backpack. The center of the display shows the view directly in front of the user, with the view stretching out either side to give a full 360-degree panoramic view. The team is also looking at implementing augmented reality capabilities to the system in the future.

FlyViz project manager Jerome Ardouin told MaxiSciences that the device takes a bit of getting used to, with recalibrating one’s movements based on what they are seeing with their eyes being one of the biggest challenges. However, users do get used to it, as evidenced by tests involving someone driving a car while wearing the device.

The team anticipates the FlyViz would offer advantages for the army and police, or rescue teams in potentially dangerous situation, such as fighting fires.

The FlyViz and the 360-degree view it gives its wearer can be seen in the video below.

Source: Inria (Google Translation) via MaxiSciences (Google Translation)

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Ok, I can see the appeal, but all this is doing is relocating peripheral vision and mitigating the need to turn your head. How often do you really need to worry about what's behind you? Also, it looks like they had to take the seat out of the car to fit all that headgear in!


silly i am so tired of batteries

what is wrong with a helmet and rear view mirror? i use this on my bike every day nothing to charge

also, how do you see what is ahead of you with this gizmo on?

"the video is processed on a laptop carried in a backpack. " WHAT! now it;s getting really silly

plus the helmet is dorky the 12" camera tower on top is both dorky and dangerous for firefighters

or anyone needing to drive



This would make a GREAT rear view camera. Especially on large vehicles with large blind spots. Great for robots too. Combine the two. Autonomous vehicles.


I like it. It would be great when biking but the tech needs to be put into a smaller package.


This whole thing could be done with mirrors. And you wouldn't crash when the power plug falls out of the cigarette lighter socket.

Tony Smale

I would darn well hope that the video is 'processed in real time'

Would be useless otherwise !

Martin Hone

This seems like a good idea for soldiers and swat teams, but I think that having the rear view split to the left and right sides is not very useful. Perhaps having an overhead image that showed you in the center might be more informative. Of course it would take some time to get used to the distortion, but the view would be unbroken, and I suspect that the user would be able to deal with that fairly easily.

Michael Crumpton

For driving put the camera on top of the car.

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