An article popped onto my news feed this week regarding HUD’s or “heads-up displays” for motorbike users. They have often been the norm for fighter pilots for many years now & more recently introduced in cars or even trucks etc because in recent years systems have been introduced to project information such as speed or distance details direct to the drivers eye view by projecting it onto the windscreen which only those in the vehicle can see. One article particularly stood out on the Endgadget website so i took a look & did delve into the subject a little more about a device recently launched on the market & what else we can expect with the technology.
Motorcycle helmets finally get the heads-up display we’ve been waiting for.. for many of us this has been on our wishlist ever since the TV programme “Street hawk” hit our TV screens back in the 80’s which featured a clever HUD display with speed & distance indicated in Jesse Mach’s helmet. Many aspects of the series were then desired among bikers but the HUD seemed the most practical idea & most possible to hit the mainstream. Ever since then, people have waited but now a company have finally developed the sci-fi concept into a reality. From what i can gather it’s a small device that clips to the front of the helmet that projects a simple display onto the glass of the visor, plus also incorporating a video camera as well as bluetooth facilities to connect or control it via a mobile phone to enable audio files & music to be played. Also included is a small remote which clips to the bars so you can quickly shuffle through the menu system.
One system that has set the standard is the NUVIZ. This type of device also helps eliminate the use of other devices as well such as bluetooth hands free phone devices or music players or even sat nav as they are all in the one device. it seems compact and easy-to-use and distraction-free. The NUVIZ inorporates map navigation, photo and video, communication (im assuming with regards making / recieving hands free phone calls, rather than an intercom, but suggestions are this will be included as a future update) and playing music. A similar device that has come along although not yet commercially available is the Reyedr which i am lead to believe this will be smaller, cheaper & possibly more versatile. the people behind the Reyedr have recently launched a kickstarter campaign to get the device to market.
I also anticipate this will soon bring in a new generation for helmet design which means you can purchase a helmet with all the features built in, rather than purchasing a bespoke unit to clip to a helmet like you would a GoPro camera. Think of it like Google glass for bikers.
Here is a video from Motorcyclist magazine following the launch of the NUVIZ
I’m a huge proponent of reducing any and all distractions while riding a motorcycle, scooter, or moped. Helmets and padded gear are great, but when you get down to it, riders are still just squishy people zipping through traffic next to giant machines that could kill you if a driver sneezes or decides to text a friend. So the idea of a HUD (Heads Up Display) for a motorcycle is equal parts intriguing and terrifying.
Done right, it keeps your head up and eyes off your gauges and whatever navigation system you have strapped to your handlebars. Done wrong, and it’s a one-way ticket to the emergency room because you were spending too much time going through menus and trying to find relevant information instead of paying attention to the car in front of you that just slammed on its brakes. The device’s purpose is to keep you informed while riding without adding too much distraction that could lead to hospitalization. And for the most part, it succeeds.
It shows your speed, navigation, maps, calls and your music via a tiny mirrored see-thru display that sits below the vision-line of your right eye. It’s there when you need it and you can almost ignore it when you don’t.
To see the information about your ride, you peer downward at the display which is focused about 13.5 feet in front of you. That means you’re refocusing your eyes, but the same thing happens when you look at your gauge cluster. Fortunately, the main screen is tailored for quick glances. Your speed and next turn are easily discernible by quickly peeking downward without moving your head which is Nuviz’s advantage over the dials that came with your bike.
You can also find out more from the manufacturers website https://uk.ridenuviz.com It’s a little pricey at the moment (£615 at the time of writing) but knowing technology as it is, i’m sure as tech evolves the price will come down & many low price aftermarket alternatives such as the Reyedr or various clones or copies will come along over the coming years, which again will further drive down the prices.