Boeing invents a wearable watch for pilots to reduce their workload

Boeing takes special care to provide utmost comfort to pilots. For example, cockpit of 747 includes foot heaters that make the pilots feel at home. A pilot’s relationship to her aircraft may be compared to how car owners respond to a prized car.

Often, Boeing scores higher than Airbus when it comes to pilot comfort. This is not surprising as Boeing consistently invents solutions to ease pilots’ pre-flight and during flight routines.

Pilots operating aircraft are often presented with large amounts of information in a short period of time. Most often, the information is provided by the aircraft’s instruments and radios. During high workload phases of flight, the pilot may be presented with more information than can be timely processed.


As a result, pilots learn to prioritize certain information during certain phases of flight. For example, during takeoff, the pilot may prioritize engine, airspeed and attitude information above all other types of information. At other times, such as during emergency situations, the pilot may become overwhelmed with the amount of information presented by the aircraft instruments.

Further, if a pilot is away from the flight station, for example during rest periods, during physiological breaks, or during pre-flight activities, the aircraft information is not available to the pilot beyond what the pilot has memorized. As a result, the pilot is not presented with real-time, prioritized information in such circumstances.


Therefore, Boeing has invented a wearable device for pilots. The wearable device detects aircraft and pilot conditions, compares the detected conditions with rules or procedures, retrieves contextual information relating to phase of flight or pilot physiological condition, and displays small amounts of contextually relevant information on a display screen. The information is presented in small pieces that are easy to read and comprehend, regardless of the pilot’s location within or outside of the aircraft and regardless of the pilot’s physiological state.


The wearable device also includes alerting mechanisms, such as haptic alarms or audible alarms to alert the pilot that relevant contextual information is being displayed.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160347472
Patent Title: Wearable Electronic Display And Method For Displaying Information To A Pilot
Publication date: 1 Dec 2016
Filing date: 17 May 2015
Inventors: Jeffrey L. Williams; Jason W. Clark; Susan A. Foster; Samantha A. Schwartz; Aaron D. Pilcher;
Original Assignee: The Boeing Company