Heads-Up Display

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What Does Heads-Up Display Mean?

A heads-up display (HUD) is a computer-augmented display that presents information, data or other visual elements to a user’s focal viewpoint. HUD imaging, or display technology, enables visual data viewing on a transparent glass screen without requiring head/neck shifting or scrolling.


A heads-up display (HUD) is also known as a head-up display (HUD).

Techopedia Explains Heads-Up Display

Initially used in aeronautics engineering, HUD technology was designed to give pilots the ability to see aircraft specific data on an aircraft’s windshield.

Today, HUD is applied in a variety of fields and areas, including:

  • Gaming gadgets
  • Assisting drivers in vehicles
  • Other three dimensional (3-D) display or augmented reality applications

HUD has three primary components: a video generating computer, projector and combiner. The video generating computer stores the information to be displayed and sends it to the projector unit, which projects the information to the glass screen. The combiner is responsible for combining the natural environment and background display with the computer generated display, allowing a user to view each simultaneously.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.