Home Forums Gear Vario HUD glasses

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    I flew with sunglasses today that have a simple heads up display and work seamlessly with the Android flight computer app “xctrack.” While there is a mild and ignorable obstruction near the right side of my nose, I was able to clearly see a display showing: Altitude, speed, wind speed/dir, lift rate, glide ratio, a vario bar, thermal gain, xc distance, and a small map showing my flight trail with small circles indicating the strength of lift (which helped center a few thermals).
    Today was a bright day with clear skies and snow on the ground, yet I was able to see the display without issue. The display is off to the left of your field of view (of your right eye) so it is not a distraction but can be focused on instantly. I only looked at the vario screen to check the battery level and may just keep it in a pocket from now on.

    I showed this to a few pilots in the LZ and promised to post the link here. I’ve tried making my own before and have been keeping an eye on smart glasses and similar displays, hoping for a simple outdoor sports platform. These are not smart glasses – they don’t have a complex computer – they are a simple and light weight micro OLED display that uses simple bluetooth messages. Meaning they can potentially be used with many apps and devices. The only vario to use them so far is xctrack.

    Their intended use is for running and cycling, but they are obviously working for paragliding and hang gliding.

    The glasses: https://us.engoeyewear.com/products/engo-2
    These were the most appealing glasses I could find but ActiveLook is just the platform, it is up to other companies to make the glasses, and there will hopefully be more options in the future.

    The tech behind them: https://www.activelook.net/

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see them next time.

    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    I didn’t see any mention for compatibilety with prescription ; or did I miss it ?



    Mario Miralles
    General Member

    Thanks for letting me try these and posting the link, Nathan!

    Bille, I tried these in the LZ after flying and they were very impressive. I need glasses to read my vario, but to my surprise the display on the lens was completely clear without my glasses. The technology is very cool. My worry was that it would be distracting while flying, but you don’t see it without consciously looking to the left with your right eye to find it. Unfortunately it wont work with my iPhone, but as soon as someone gets that to work, I’m getting some!

    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    @ Mario :

    I can see my vario and airspeed , without reading glasses ; it’s that far-away stuff that gets kinda fuzzy, and it wasn’t that way about 10 years ago . :(


    Mario Miralles
    General Member

    Yes, I can relate to the changes…

    Maybe Nathan has a suggestion. I think the technology is moving quickly enough that some will be available sooner than later. Question is, will you with prescription glasses or me with my eyephone be able to use these first! I’m betting you will sport these first ;D


    Mario, it might be worth getting a cheap Android phone just to use for this purpose. I don’t think the phone has to be ‘on’ in terms of being connected to a cellular network/active carrier plan, the gps and other functions as well as the ability to use wi-fi & Bluetooth should function independently.  Basically like having an Android iPod, just download the Ap on home wi-fi to use the glasses. Damnit, I think I just talked myself into it…


    About prescription glasses compatibility: This platform is integrated into the nose and sits very close to your eye. I don’t think it is compatible with prescription glasses at all, and I didn’t see any mention of a solution in the works. A few years ago there was a crowd sourced HUD project designed to work in motorcycle helmets but it only worked with their app. Something projected against a face shield would be great… If possible, you could use contact lenses with these glasses. A very crafty person could figure out how to mount it on prescription glasses, but the projection surface needs to be partially reflective and at a certain distance and angle to work. That is probably not worth the effort.

    About apps and phones: I found another simple vario that also pairs with ActiveLook  https://www.syride.com/en/engo but the output seems simple. FlyShyHy is the iphone flight computer, maybe someone can pressure them to support ActiveLook? Or even Naviter. Luke is correct about using a cheap android phone. It doesn’t need cell service, but should be new enough to have a decent barometer, and screen that is readable in full sunlight if you want.

    Since I prefer the data from xcsoar, I am considering making a driver for it. It should also be possible to build xcsoar for iOS, since the source code actually supports this, but Apple has made it a massive PITA to do so.

    David Webb
    General Member

    The Flyskyhy developer is very responsive to emails and a nice guy too. Name is René. Might be worth reaching out to him to see if this is on his list of to-dos.

    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    Thanks David !

    Yes i did what you suggested , early today ; hoping for a positive response !

    I really don’t wanna get Lasik ; and contacts for me ,(there Not an option). :(



    David Webb
    General Member

    I also reached out to the ActiveLook folks to see if they have in the works offering just the “device” part of the glasses (the thingy without the glasses attached). This would be nice to allow developers and other DIYers to integrate this into helmets and goggles. For me, I strongly prefer flying with goggles (keeps the wind and bugs out of my eyes and offer good field of vision), so this would be a must for me.

    Will post the response here if/when I get one.


    I hope you get a positive response because they do sell the just device to developers. I think the exact position of everything is important. Chances are you could get a clear lens with all the unnecessary parts cut away (leaving some small piece of “glass” to project against and enough structure to keep it in position).

    David Webb
    General Member

    Unless there’s a hidden option, what I saw on their developer shop (the development kits) are all device-and-glasses (no separate unit). This is the response I got this morning:

    This is not possible, as of now, to purchase a standalone module to integrate in a mask. If you have optical system design capability you may want to approach http://www.microled.net and consider integrating a microdisplay into your system.

    Would you like to let us know a bit more about your project and target application?

    I replied that it would be great to have a unit-without-the-glasses that could be incorporated into goggles or helmets. Will post again if they reply to my follow-up.

    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    Here is what they replied to Me :


    Wed, Apr 5, 9:29 AM (2 days ago)

    to BilleFloyd, support, tim.c, info-us

    Hi Bill


    First of all, we would like to thank you for your interest in our connected glasses.

    Our products are the result of a long series of prototypes and required us to meet multiple technical challenges.

    Unfortunately we could not integrate corrective lenses.

    Indeed our current lenses must observe a certain curvature, a certain coating, a certain size and all this makes it difficult to add glasses for our users with high myopia.

    We have chosen for the moment to offer an innovative, technical, lightweight product with great autonomy and which is completely adapted to presbyopic athletes.

    We are aware that many people would like to benefit from a solution in this direction and we hope that in the near future our team of engineers will be able to take up this new challenge and thus satisfy all our sports friends in search of challenges and performance.

    We provide an unconditional 30 day trial, so individuals with corrective vision requirements can check to see if ENGO will work for them.


    Thanks for your understanding


    Hicham E.

    Engo Tech Support

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