Got the serious sounding music ready? Here we go. Google Glass for cyclists. Two ways Garmin’s Varia Vision for cyclists could go. It’ll be a must-have accessory, or you’ll want to wait for version 2.0. But the promise is there for cyclists who treat their bike like southerners treat their truck.
What Varia offers is taking the computer accessories you already have attached to your bike and pushing the notifications to a display you attach to your glasses. Imagine Google Glass done right for rabid cyclists.
I love cycling, but I’m not about to hit the rural roads in NE Alabama. Speed limits and lane markers are looked at as suggestions.
Garmin Varia Vision
It offers everything you’d expect in a display. Turn-by-turn directions, ride data, notifications from your phone. All in your line of sight. The biggest selling point? Attach a rearview radar and the system keeps you aware of approaching traffic.
The user interface is similar to Google Glass. A touchpad is integrated to allow you to swipe through menus. Each Varia has an integrated ambient light sensor and is waterproof.
Alerts can also be set to vibrate to snap you out of the daydream before a UPS driver takes you out. Battery life clocks in at eight hours thanks to most of the computing being offloaded to your phone.
Pricing for a Varia Vision is $400. That’ll raise eyebrows until we see it tested in the real-world. Especially when I’m sure that’s not accounting for the rearview radar costs. For now? We get insight into the Garmin marketing department’s love of all things Tron.
My take? How much of your line of sight is being taken up? Granted, pulling data up off the handlebars and to your face prevents you from looking down, but what about a screen blocking the car you’re about to hit? I’m sure there’s a happy middle, but one of the failures of Google Glass was it presented safety hazards. How Garmin overcomes this is an open question that will need a good answer.