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)