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"The immediate problem with our meat brains is that they have no back-up. We can lose the most precious information we have from one bump on the head or stroke. You want a mind system with back-up that can access other databases."
- Bart Kosko

Hands Free Helmet  
  The helmet of a powered suit has controls activated by head movements.  

The powered suit or exoskeleton was controlled entirely by careful feedback to your usual muscle movements. So, how could you manipulate the suit controls?

Since your head is the one part of your body not involved in the pressure receptors controlling the suit's muscles, you use your head -- your jaw muscles, your chin, your neck -- to switch things for you and thereby leave your hands free to fight. A chin plate handles all visual displays the way the jaw switch handles the audios. All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of your forehead from where the work is actually going on above and back of your head. All this helmet gear makes you look like a hydrocephalic gorilla but, with luck, the enemy won't live long enough to be offended by your appearance, and it is a very convenient arrangement; you can flip through your several types of radar displays quicker than you can change channels to avoid a commercial -- catch a range & bearing, locate your boss, check your flank men, whatever.
From Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1959
Additional resources -

The first head-up displays (HUDs) were created during WWII. An early example of what would now be termed a head-up display was the Projector System of the British AI Mk VIII air interception radar fitted to some de Havilland Mosquito night fighters, where the radar display was projected onto the aircraft's windscreen along with the artificial horizon, allowing the pilots to perform interceptions without taking their eyes from the windscreen.

Compare to the more modern sfnal ideas like the overlay specs from Charles Stross' 2007 novel Halting State and the smart contact lenses from Fast Times at Fairmont High by Vernor Vinge (2001), and somewhat earlier, the DreamTime contacts from Niven and Barnes' 1992 novel The California Voodoo Game.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Starship Troopers
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Starship Troopers
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Hands Free Helmet-related news articles:
  - Preorder Recon Jet - It's Heavy Duty Glass
  - Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
  - Squad X Core Technologies For Infantry

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