When not flying over war zones, the greatest danger that pilots could face is bad weather. Luckily for them, a new type of smart goggles called Skylens enables them to see through fog.
Fog is only one of the dangerous factors that could determine a flight to go wrong, others being dust storms and torrential rain. Until now, landing or taking off on such weather conditions was practically impossible, but Skylens turns the table in the pilots’ favor. These new smart goggles are the work of an Israeli startup that thought that pilots could use some help in this department. For the time being, the Skylens smart goggles are only recommended for pilots of small business jets or helicopters, but the future versions of the product (if any) should also have jumbo jet pilots among the target audience of the manufacturer.
The multi-spectral cameras found in the plane’s nose are able to feed video to the goggles. On top of that, such additional information as altitude, speed and an artificial horizon is displayed, so as to help the pilot maintain the plane in a level position.
Dror Yahav of Elbit Systems, the makers of Skylens, pointed out that, so far, the smart goggles have been a success: “We have had 150 pilots try it out in rain, snow, haze and dust on five types of aircraft. They really like it.”
Elbit Systems estimates that the Skylens smart goggles will be made in a marketable form in 2016. Given that there are two years left until this proof-of-concept becomes a reality that pilots can use, the manufacturer couldn’t mention a price.
While most people who have learned about this news appreciated the idea, some mentioned new possible applications for these smart goggles. For example, one commenter even said that the Indian Railways could use such a device, while another one pointed out that Skylens would be great for driving. Regardless of the means of transportation on which the smart goggles will be used, the goal is the same in all cases: to prevent accidents and human casualties.
Best of all, it’s great to see the enthusiasm of people who heard of such news. Necessity is the mother of invention, so similar products will most probably be launched in the near future.
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