All about head-up displays.

A head-up display (HUD) can do more than many people think.

We explain the advantages, show areas of application and innovative head-up displays that go far beyond their use in cars.

Head-up displays – also known as HUDs for short – are not an entirely new invention. Nevertheless, they are currently very popular and are likely to increase their popularity in the near future. This is reason enough to summarize the most important information on this topic and thus offer interested parties a little orientation.

What is a head-up display?
A brief definition.

A head-up display – which literally means “head-up display” – is an innovative display system. The technology projects information directly into the user’s field of vision and can also take into account parameters such as the user’s viewing direction and head position. As a result, HUDs offer numerous advantages over conventional display technologies such as classic monitors.

How does a head-up display work?

While there are some differences between how HUD works depending on the technology used. Nevertheless, they generally always consist of two components, namely an imaging optical unit on the one hand and a projection surface, e.g. the windshield in a car, on the other. The imaging unit has the task of generating the respective information and forwarding it optically as an image, video or 3D animation to the respective projection surface.

Because the process requires this to be both translucent and reflective, the materials used here are primarily glass elements or foils. Users subsequently see the information generated by the imaging unit – or more precisely, the mirrored information – floating in space in their field of view.

What are the head-up display sizes?

HUDs are now available in a variety of different sizes. However, the displays often only have a relatively small format – between 5 and 10 inches. These are usually the models that are used in cars or airplanes. Displays in this area must be relatively small so that users can grasp all the information at a glance.

In the meantime, however, there are also significantly larger versions for other purposes. The top position here is taken by what is currently probably the largest head-up display with over 80 inches , the so-called augmented reality head-up display called “Deep Frame”. This is used, for example, for museums, exhibitions, congresses or trade fairs.

Advantages of different head-up displays

Briefly summarized

Head-up display (HUD) for car and aircraft

Mostly only very small between 5-10 inches
2D and 3D animation can be displayed via virtual information mostly in Full HD but partly also in lower quality.
Lower depth of information. Virtual information is usually limited to speed, warnings and traffic information.
The user receives additional information superimposed on the real environment (the street, the sky)
The information can be perceived WITHOUT AR or VR glasses

Head-Up-Display (HUD) for museum, showroom, fair

Very large models up to 80 inches possible
Via high-resolution 3D animation, the virtual information can be displayed in 4K UHD .
The possibilities are almost unlimited. Dinosaurs walk through the room, vehicles can be virtually configured in the car dealership, technical products can be easily explained at trade fairs.
The user receives additional information superimposed on the real world , e.g. in the museum, the trade fair stand, the car dealership, etc.
The information can be perceived WITHOUT AR or VR glasses

What are the biggest innovations / trends in head-up displays at the moment?

HUDs have long since been used in more than just cars and airplanes. Thanks to technological advances in manufacturing and cost-efficient production, HUD technology is conquering more and more areas of application. So it’s no wonder that innovative head-up displays can already be found in many areas.

What are the biggest innovations / trends in head-up displays at the moment?

Head-Up Display HUD also called Augmented Reality Display, for museum fairs events.

When innovative head-up displays are the topic, Deep Frame cannot be missed. This is a special form of head-up display, also known as an augmented reality display.

If you look through what is probably the largest HUD on the market today, you will see a holographic 3D world that offers fantastic possibilities, but at the same time seems to merge with reality.

A special lens technology makes it possible to influence the size of the projection. This allows for fascinating optical observations – such as mice that are taller than elephants, a beer bottle that towers as high as the Eiffel Tower, or astronauts that seem to float freely in space.

Thanks to the Augmented Reality Display technology, Deep Frame users can experience the 3D holographic worlds WITHOUT augmented reality glasses or virtual reality goggles.

Head-up displays for trade fairs as eye-catchers

Deep Frame Augmented Reality Display in Planetarium Exhibition Space

Visitors regularly get to see a lot at trade shows. Here it is often difficult for the individual exhibitor to draw attention to the company and the products.
That’s why head-up displays are ideal eye-catchers for trade shows. They offer the possibility to illustrate own products or technical processes. If these then appear floating freely above the heads of the trade fair visitors, their eyes are automatically directed there.

Head-up displays bring museums to life

When looking through the augmented reality head-up display, dinosaurs such as the T-Rex come to life in the museum or exhibition and appear to be free in space.

Many museums have a problem. Numerous people shy away from the visit because things and contexts are often presented here too dryly and statically.

That’s why head-up displays are the perfect solution for museums, because they bring things and events to life.
In this context, there are almost limitless possibilities: Colossal dinosaurs trudging through the corridors of a prehistoric museum. Aircraft soaring through the halls of an aviation museum. Historical events in which the visitor is right in the middle.
Head-up displays are a real stroke of luck for museums, because they make exhibitions really come alive.

Head-up displays optimize sales areas and flagship stores

Retail space in prime locations is becoming increasingly expensive worldwide.

Not surprisingly, the trend is toward smaller stores or retail spaces. Here, however, there is often not enough space to present the entire range to customers.
Head-up displays not only provide a remedy here, but actually deliver important added value to both dealers and customers.
For example, a car dealer no longer needs to stock all vehicle models in the showroom. Thanks to the use of HUD, interested parties can not only conveniently view them virtually, but even configure them themselves according to their requirements and thus get an idea of their dream car.

Head-up displays turn events into something special

Deep frame city at night panorama

Year after year, there are so many events. But only a few of these events remain in visitors’ memories.

Fortunately, events can be turned into a very special experience through the use of HUD that attendees will talk about for a long time.

A little look back.

Where were the first head-up displays used?

Head-up displays on the plane above the clouds

The first rudimentary HUDs date from the 1940s and were used in aircraft. and were used in aircraft. Today, they are the primary form of display on both military and civilian aircraft, informing pilots of radar contacts and aeronautical data.
A few decades later, engineers also used HUD technology in select automobiles to inform drivers of their current speed without requiring them to take their eyes off the road.

Which aircraft and car manufacturers use head-up displays?

Today, it is hard to imagine aircraft without these displays . That is why both Airbus – for example in the Airbus A380 – and Boeing – for example in the Boeing 777 – as market leaders in the field of civil aviation, rely on this technology.

In the automotive sector, General Motors installed the first simple HUDs in the United States as early as the 1980s. In Japan, Nissan was one of the pioneers of the technology with the HUD installed in the Nissan 240SX sports car, for example. BMW, together with Siemens VDO Automotive, was the first European manufacturer to follow suit, producing both the 5 Series and the 6 Series with HUD in large-scale production from 2003.

Whether Citroën, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota or VW, there is currently hardly an innovative car manufacturer that does not offer a version with a head-up display, at least for selected vehicle models.


There are countless possibilities that go far beyond the classic use of head-up displays in cars and airplanes.

Innovative systems set completely new standards – fascinating users and visitors alike. AND most importantly, HUD must be seen live to appreciate the depth effect. Photos and videos can only give a first impression here.

Are you interested in head-up displays to use them as effective eye-catchers at trade fairs, events or in museums?

Then you will find the right offers here. We will also be happy to answer your questions and provide you with comprehensive advice so that you can make the most of the huge potential of this technology.

Give us a call

We are happily looking forward to hearing from you!

Matthias Mangold

Phone: +49 6132 899 04 210

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