Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
"This must be the early
prototype for Google Glass," was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this
story in a 1962 edition of Popular Electronics. It is intended to allow
'future' astronauts to have improved situational awareness by providing means to
look behind himself without needing to turn around, and to receive mission data
via a miniature CRT embedded within the viewer. Voice communications is featured
as well. Hughes Aircraft Company (nowadays just 'Hughes')
might just want to consider assigning a handful of its highly paid attorneys to
look into a patent infringement action based on the original content of its "Electrocular"
headset paperwork. A small percentage of any award will be appreciated.
Here is another reference to the Electrocular in a 1962
Science & Mechanics.
Third Eye for Space Explorers
The first astronaut to land on the moon
may need an eye in the back of his head, and a new "Electrocular" headset (right)
perfected by Hughes Aircraft may well provide it. The headset contains a miniature
cathode-ray tube (A) to receive, say, a closed-circuit TV picture, as well as an
internal mirror (B) to "bend" the image toward the viewing eyepiece (C). A microphone
(D) for voice communications is optional. Since the monocle-type eye-piece is a
transparent mirror, the wearer can look through the image, when necessary, to concentrate
on what is actually in front of him. The apparent size of the image (up to eight
feet in diameter) varies according to where he focuses his eyes. Many other applications
are anticipated for the new device - it's being used by the pilot at left, for example,
to receive pictured information from the control tower on air traffic and ground
NOTE: I did a quick patent search for Hughes
Aircraft Company in the era of this article and did not find the "Electrocular'"
however, check out
Eyeglass Interface System (USPTO #6,349,001).
Looks like Hughes might have a case.
Posted September 24, 2019