HMD Hacking

M1 sitting on top of iBookIbought a Tekgear M1 head-mounted display and am planning on hacking the device into a pair of sunglasses. To the left you can see it sitting on top of my iBook. The box in the middle is intended to be clipped on to a belt. The HMD itself is worn like a headband. Unfortunately, it's a little Borg-ish.

For now, I don't have any pictures, as my digital camera broke. Sorry. In fact, I don't have it completed yet. I'm still waiting for some parts to come in the mail. The main reason I have instructions up is to organize my thoughts, so I know what steps I'll follow when I actually put it together over the next month.

Also, I should thank the members of the wear-hard mailing list for their help in making this display.

Part List



  1. Carefully crack open the monocle using a knife to cut along the seam. I accidentally put a small gash in the Kopin CyberDisplay when opening mine up, so be careful! Inside, you'll find a PCB, backlight, display, lens, diffractor, and glass cover. You'll need to save the display, PCB, and lens. If you plan on making your own backlight, you won't need the backlight either.
  2. Solder the 50 conductor wire onto the PCB. You'll only need sixteen of the wires, so cut away the excess and perhaps use it as a backup. Also solder on two more wires to power the backlight. Then, attach the display to the PCB and stick the backlight on the front of the display. (The beamsplitter will reverse the image for you.)
  3. Next, desolder the ugly cable from the board that used to sit up against your head and replace the cable with the cable hooked up directly to the CyberDisplay.
  4. Desolder the cable hooking up that board to the driver board, shorten it, and resolder it.
  5. Use electrical tape and hot glue to keep everything together. I tended to be heavy on the electrical tape, as my glue gun is a piece of crap.
  6. Repackage all of the boards. And voila! A (not very) covert HMD!

Planned Improvements

HMD hooked up to iBookHere is my current prototype hooked up to my Apple iBook. It's hard to see in this picture, but there is a Sony NP-F750 battery hooked up to the power supply.

Close-up of hacked HMDA close-up of the glasses here. Once again, it's hard to see. However, everything except the beamsplitter and wire is straight from the PCB. Notice that you can't actually wear these comfortably. I also had to break the glasses to make the side flat. Now, they won't stay on my head. Sigh.

SETI@home running in HMDHere's a very bad picture of the image as viewed in the beamsplitter. You can faintly make out SETI@home running on the screen. The lens and beamsplitter are currently held in place with cut-up Q-tips! My glue gun isn't working for some reason, so there's a ton of electrical and scotch tape, too.