FEBRUARY 4--Recognizing the increased emphasis on improving security measures, Microvision Inc. (Bothell, WA;www.mvis.com) has entered into a joint marketing partnership with underwater search technology firm Nova Marine Exploration Inc. (Kirkland, WA) to market an underwater inspection system to port security operations around the country. The agreement pairs the Nomad Personal Display System from Microvision--a high-resolution, headworn display that augments the user's vision with images and information in a see-through or "head-up" mode--with the NovaRay--Nova Marine's low-cost, remote operating vehicle that can survey underwater sites and transmit video images to the operator.
Using the Nomad system, the NovaRay pilot sees the navigational data--compass heading, depth reading, artificial horizon, and so forth--superimposed over the color video monitor. Pilot attention stays focused on the surveillance while maintaining control of the NovaRay vehicle. Another advantage of combining the systems is that one operator controls the entire system, eliminating the need for a second person to constantly monitor the video feed. Under terms of the agreement, NovaMarine will recommend the Nomad system as an accessory for the NovaRay vehicle, and the two companies will target the enhanced NovaRay system to port security operations.
The NovaRay vehicle can move more quickly and consistently underwater than divers. Equipped with the Nomad display system, the pilot can conduct a more thorough inspection. While divers are limited to how much time they can spend underwater on any given day, the NovaRay vehicle can be operated indefinitely. "The Nomad system allows the pilot to multitask while flying the NovaRay, enabling quick, efficient surveys using only one pilot," said Krist Geriene, Nova Marine president.
The Nomad display features full daylight-readability, allowing users to view high-contrast images in even the most challenging ambient lighting conditions. High-quality, Super VGA resolution makes the Nomad immediately compatible with a broad range of existing applications and content. Among the NovaRay's innovations are computerizing flight-control systems and digitizing the entire vehicle. These improvements allow such add-ons as scanning sonar and tracking systems without the need of additional receivers and monitors. These add-ons are monitored through the computer system, and the screen display is changed with a simple voice command.