Itinervate [gd0151]

A head's up display specifically for displaying my itenerary.

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The name is a work in progress, derived from "itenerary" and "innovate".

I'm planning to use 2x 0.23" OLED displays with freeform optics, mounted in a middle bar, to display the TaskAttempt and Interval Provisional applications (which is most likely going to be merged into one). Ideally, this would look vaguely as if Apple's Dynamic Island was an in-game HUD element.

Strictly no force on my nose is allowed. Neither is the covering of peripheral vision. I need to be able to wear this for over 15 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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[R] Transparent HMD Options on AliExpress
[T] Project too large?
[M] First concept design
[M][T] 21700 and "core boards"


[2023 - Nov 27

The current project name is "Itinervate" (itinerary + innovate) because car games have been quite an influence on my thought process. The phrase "Your itinerary is being recalculated." is the most memorable phrase said by the GPS in Test Drive Unlimited 1 (and 2 IIRC), which is spoken when a destination is set/changed. 

I can't see through the fog of the unknown to be able to precisely plan every event and task I'd get in the near future, so I often need to change course. When that happens, I will often think/say "My itinerary is being (re)calculated." when that happens. I mean, there are quotes like "life is a highway" and "enjoy the journey", as well as phases like "I just need a sign/direction" and the aforementioned "change course", so I may be onto something here.

Initial Thoughts

I've come to the simple yet inescapable realization that I really need some sort of life management/organizer system in place if I actually want to actually achieve my goals and ambitions in a reasonable time-frame, if at all. As an example. unlike most users on Hackaday, I've currently got over 3 dozen projects, where I still want to complete at least a dozen of them; a handful are actually large undertakings (e.g. #SecSavr Suspense [gd0105] and related projects) for a 1-man team. colour

I knew I needed it a while ago (hence projects like #TaskAttempt [gd0140] and #Tetent TimerSpy [gd0136] were started), but was lowkey under the assumption that it would just be a "nice to have" thing and not the foundational issue that affects all others.

Right now, my brain has to hold in all this information, requiring time and energy (and is self-aware that it doesn't have perfect memory, hence a bit of anxiety too) that could be going into my projects.

I've addressed the 3 key areas that I need to be able to have a full solution, with emphasis in bold:

  1. I need to be able to quickly add/modify tasks and timers. 
    1. e.g. #Tetrescent [gd0150], #Tetent TimerSpy [gd0136] 
  2. I need something to store, manage and derive information from the tasks.
    1. e.g. #TaskAttempt [gd0140], #Interval Provisional [gd0097]
  3. I need to be able to see the tasks/timers without friction.
    1. (I tried to do all 3 of these key areas with #Tetent TimerSpy [gd0136])

This project tackles the 3rd component to the solution. When I say "frictionless", what I mean is something akin to being deep in thought, quickly glancing to the wall/wrist clock to check the time, and then going back into thought.

There's also an implied overarching requirement, which is that the solution needs to be available the vast majority of the time, as I have new ideas, decisions and considerations the vast majority of the time. I'm essentially trying to offload what my brain is currently trying to do, and thus I can't just landlock the solution to my desktop PC #Teti [gd0022], and I think a HUD/HMD is a bit more practical than mounting a phone stand / selfie stick to my body. Expected moments of downtime are showering and sleeping.

In the most ideal case, the solution would be something I could actually call my "second brain" that apps like Obsidian help users create.

  • [M][T] 21700 and "core boards"

    kelvinA01/18/2024 at 10:38 0 comments

    For starters, I'm thinking that the design will be more streamlined so that I can fit a 5Ah 21700 cell:

    Secondly, I've been looking around for options that could reduce the workload, such as perhaps finding some off-the-shelf AliExpress smartwatch that has a custom firmware project active (there doesn't seem to be).

    So far, the most promising thing I've found is this, the RK330Y Core Board:

    It has support for RGB at 720p (I plan to output 1280x400 to an FPGA which will split to each display) and 8-channel audio output (I plan to try a 6-speaker, spacial audio headset implementation) through I2S. Unfortunately, I can't find any power consumption info and somewhat hoping that its use for IoT applications means that power consumption is relatively low.

  • [M] First concept design

    kelvinA12/21/2023 at 22:37 0 comments

    I want a design that looked like this:

    but more importantly, I just wanted something that I could use as the cover image for this project. Here is my modelling process:

    This is the basic design of the HMD module.
    I modelled the hat by non-uniformly scaling a hemisphere. Then I needed to join the 2 parts together. The simplest is a cylinder, but I already suspected that it wouldn't look that great and modelling it just confirmed it.
    A chamfered block was better, but I thought I could improve further with a semi-transparent design.
    This is the diamond square mesh design I tried. I may also try overlaid brackets (as seen in my logo).
    Then I moved the hat down. I'm actually suprised how hat-like the grey part looks, despite me just quickly throwing something together.
    Next, I tried some colour variations to add a bit of highlight.
    The green part slightly cuts past the grey part, but I thought it could add a bit of vibrance to break up the otherwise featureless cap.

    Lastly, I increased the reflectivity of the mannequin to extract more detail. The result are these two render images:

    I think the conceptual idea to have 2 freeform optics looks a tad clunky, and the hat looks a bit like a cyclist helmet from the front, but a sacrifice I'm willing to take to not have my vision interrupted by the frames and stems of glasses for 15+ hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • [T] Project too large?

    kelvinA12/10/2023 at 23:20 0 comments

    I'm looking into what's required for Itinervate (as well as the head-worn input device and spacial audio idea I had) and this could be a project over 15x the workload that I could realistically manage. Here are some of the issues:

    • There doesn't seem to be a convenient development board / sbc that is more powerful than a microcontroler but not as power intensive as a normal SBC like a Raspberry Pi Zero. I'm essentially looking for a low-end smartphone SBC most likely, but it seems most of them run chips intended for tv boxes.
    • I'm still under the impression that visuals without a quick HCI has limited use. I've been mentally keeping a note of how many times my itinerary changes and let me just say "Wouw!" because anything I'd plan would be out of date within the hour.
      • I've recently found out that the Rayneo X2's only support 1-axis swipes and taps, unlike INMO Air2's 2-axis trackpads, and it already sounds quite limited. At least with things like trackpads or square optical sensors (as seen on UMPCs) would allow for great use of the 8vim layout with the added benefit that the user doesn't have to become Danny Phantom.
      • What I'm trying to say is that until otherwise mentioned, I'm merging the visuals with Tetrinsics and audio. I mean I'd have to have audio anyway, so that I can hear #Interval Provisional [gd0097] chimes.

  • [E3][R] Transparent HMD Options on AliExpress

    kelvinA11/28/2023 at 11:11 0 comments

    Realising that I had the simple yet inescapable choice to finally look into a strong and stable life-management system or chaos continuum, I started searching around on Friday 24th Nov when I said to myself "I feel that if I set the budget for the HMD to be £400 - £600, I'd find something easy.". My subconsious effectively replied "Citation needed.".

    I've tried the Rokid Max HMD's, but there are 3 main issues that mean that it and glasses like it can't be used:

    1. The real world is very dark.
    2. The FOV is blocked by non-transparent elements, most notably the bottom frame cutting right in the middle of the main "action area" of vision.
    3. IPD does not match my own.

    There's also the 4rd point of weight, but that can be solved with making some sort of hat mount or buying a glasses holder.

    With the above issues identified, I started searching and these are the results that I found.

    INMO Go

    It's green only, so likely wouldn't work very well for the kind of interface I want. It's the cheapest one and is claimed to have a fair good bit of battery life though.

    INMO Air2

    I think the global edition is just making it's way out. My concern with this is that

    1. It's 26 degree FOV at 640*400, meaning 25PPD.
    2. The stems may block peripheral vision.

    Arkkov A1

    The cool thing about these is that they have 60% transparency and electrochromic lenses (something I was trying to find for #T^2 TyMist [gd0138]). There's a bit of a confliction though, as it claims 58PPD yet taking in the FOV and resolution, should be the same as the Rokid Max at 40PPD (which has a 55 degree FoV). Might just conflicting information:

    The issue of IPD may be apparent in this one.

    [4 Dec: Edit 3] Found this video that has this:

    Putting that into the PPD calculator gets a horizontal/vertical/diagonal FOV of 33.1 / 18.6 / 37.97 degrees, so it seems that the PPD is the correct value in the listings.


    RayNeo X2

    One of the most performant looking glasses, but since the actual resolution of the display isn't mentioned and the main website says "coming soon", I'm not entirely sure if this is even out yet.

    [4 Dec: Edit 3] I found out that there's an Android 12 SDK here. As far as Android is concerned, the glasses have 1 long screen and the app has to be written to display correctly. There's also this video that has a lot more information:

    Dual freeform optics

    This is what this project is based around. I believe that these are the optical modules used on the Xiaomi Mijia Glasses. 

    In an attempt for a symmetric solution that gets me a combined 1280 * 400px of resolution, I'm planning to create something like this:

    This is so that when one eye is looking at a prism, the other eye is looking at the black enclosure that connects the two together. This both mitigates visual crosstalk and helps keep the real world light intensity consistent. What do I mean by the latter?

    It looks like freeform optics is actually working on the combined principles of bug-eyed combiners and the prism used in 90 degree glasses.

    This part crudely highlighted in red is doing most of the work, and the other half is just so that the incoming light from the real world isn't distorted. The image from the display comes in, TIR's off the flat face, and heads towards the curved section. The seller advertises a 60% light efficiency, so I believe that the middle of these freeform optics is coated to make it a 60 : 40 (or 70 : 30  if accounting for any other losses in the system) beamsplitter. The light then doesn't TIR but instead goes through the flat section into the eye.

    This means that only up-to 40% of real world light gets through, resulting in darkening:

    I plan to put these prisms at the upper edge of my vision, so that it's out of the way until I want to glance at it. The hope is that it looks a bit like a heads-up Dynamic Island: 

    The hurdle I've hit so far is that the driver boards are either AV or HDMI. I'm...

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