With the help of Google Glass, Cal Maritime faculty are developing an entirely new marine navigation system. This wearable, immersive augmented reality system engages the user by presenting embedded or superimposed images, technical details, and sounds or tactile sensory information.

By helping navigators keep their focus on the view outside a ship's bridge windows, the wearable system promises to be more intuitive and potentially safer than existing electronic navigation devices.

This head-mounted display—which utilizes GPS location services and gyro stabilization to provide situational awareness information in a maritime environment—is unique. If developed successfully, the device could replace industry-standard fixed and semi-portable electronic navigational systems. Small vessels and high-speed vessels are particularly suitable for this type of navigation.

This research is based on earlier work done on fixed maritime head-up displays, published in the Journal of Navigation in October 2011. In that study, a prototype was tested in a full-mission bridge simulator at the Cal Maritime. The results demonstrated this type of display could help maintain situational awareness in challenging navigational conditions at sea.