When a cyclist or a motorcyclist is on a road tour, plenty of information is constantly required by the rider. Navigation instructions, speed limits, changing situations in traffic, and perhaps incoming phone calls should be managed without having to stop too frequently. Fortunately, modern wearable technology can help: small devices called Head Up Displays (or HUD for short) can bring navigation instructions right in front of your eyes without having to hold anything in your hand.
A heads up display is a transparent virtual screen that projects holographic information into a corner of your field of view. The display is controlled by a tiny dedicated computer, or wirelessly by your smartphone.
Let’s take a look at a video that shows how Nuviz, a head up display for motorcyclists works:
The rider attaches the display to his helmet and connects it to his smartphone where an app is controlling the display. On the bottom right corner of the rider’s field of view, the application displays the information the rider wants to see.
Nuviz also comes with a dedicated controller that can be attached to the handlebar for changing the information displayed on the virtual screen. The dedicated controller lets the rider to take photos and capture video clips as well. Taking photos on the move doesn’t produce good results, but video clips can be exciting to watch afterwards.
The battery life in Nuviz is about 8 hours. In addition to navigation, the product can show speed, distance and initiate phone communications. The Nuviz is currently priced at 700 USD/euros.
Here is a video that introduces the Garmin Varia Vision HUD product:
The head up displays designed for cyclists can be either dedicated sunglasses that come with a tiny computer and a display, or the HUD is an accessory that can be attached to normal cycling glasses.
Many cyclists already have cycling computers that can show speed, distance, how fast the rider is turning the cranks, heart rate, power output, and other information.
Some products designed for cyclists can replace the dedicated cycling computers whereas others add features to them.
The HUD products are new which means that the technology used in them will develop in the next few years and products will become cheaper.
I have seen prototypes of head up displays for cars where the transparent display is projected onto the windshield. That is something very useful, but the product should have the option of projecting the screen of a tablet or a smartphone in order to allow me to use the navigation app I want.