By Andrew Liszewski
Brad Nelson, aka my hero for the day, created this amazing homebrew HUD system that provides pretty much all the functionality you’d find in a first-person shooter video game, but for real-life games of capture the flag or paintball. Thanks to a GPS and XBee RF module, as well as a small LCD display, each ZephyrEye unit allows a player to not only see the boundaries of the game field including base stations and flag locations, but also the other players, the direction each one is headed and whether they’re friend or foe. It even includes a microphone which is used to keep track of your ammo count in real-time. Most impressive!
Like in a video game, different gameplay scenarios and settings can be chosen via a basic menu system, like whether to show or hide enemy players, or to facilitate ‘re-spawn’ zones for players who’ve been ‘killed’, and a basic menu-based messaging system allows team leaders to direct their players or send general instructions. I’m not sure if Brad plans to mass produce or sell these units, but so far he’s posted a pretty detailed build history on his blog, including links to the source code if you’re interested in building your own.