Excellent article. I agree that there seems to be potential interesting iterations of this technology. Google maps and heart rate monitoring seems like great ideas, and it sounds like you could provide a complete set of "dashboard intruments" to potentially measure speed, distance, etc.
I agree, Al. It's a great article and a great idea. If I were going to bet on a technology that will get snapped up by the marketplace, I'd bet on this. I think this guy has something big here. Like you, Al, I also like the other apps, especially the heart rate monitor.
This works at night, and looks really good. It would be interesting to see if there is a display technology that would allow you to project this in some way to a point in front of the bike that was perhaps not the ground. That would allow a display that could be used during the day and could integrate some of those other sources. The Raspberry Pi platform could easily handle that.
That is the key, isn't it, naperlou? Right now, the technology forces the driver to look down, instead of ahead. Someone needs to do a study on how long it takes your eyes to look at the display and then re-focus on the road ahead. In vehicles, I think it's always been assumed that it takes 0.4 seconds for a driver's eyes to look down at the speedometer and then return to the road. Head-up displays were able to reduce that figure. A bike, however, goes slower than a car, so the readjustment time doesn't translate to as many feet travelled.
I have a few Raspberry Pi boards... I only wish they had a little more power. Something on par with the recent Smartphones. Then the Pi would be a DIY behemoth. PIC/ARM/and Arduino dev boards still rule the roost for the most part.
Also, aside from a head's up display, I hope they add some way to project warnings on the road to alert automobile drivers. Then, they have a great HUD system for bikes..
Great post. I know several guys who are really into biking and speed racing. I mean they do 45 or 50 miles on weekends; for around here with the hills, is insane. They love it though. I agree with Charles, this concept will be picked up quickly when the hardware designs are solidified. Adding GPS is a definite must and will provide value-added to the entire concept. Could also be made an option. I'm sending this link to my friends to get their "take" and will respond when they get back to me. A great idea.
I'm a big fan of DIY and this is very creative, but I'm a little bemused on the utility. Cutting-edge bike techies will buy anything, but as a non-cutting edge biker I would never put a distraction like this in my headlight. I would much rather maintain awareness of my surroundings than to know I was going exactly 15 mph when that cabbie broadsided me...
Yes, selling top end gadgets to bicyclists is almost a sure thing. I would like to see heartrate info next to the speed, because your're usually trying to keep heartrate within a narrow range for the best aerobic exercise.
I wonder how far we are from adding technologies that alert bike riders to the dangers that are coming at them. "Dog on your right." "Another bike coming up behind you." "Watch out for a motorist on the right!" We are seeing accident avoidance in cars already, will it go to bikes next? Or will that just distract the rider and cause more problems. Don't know. Cool to see stuff like this expanding into other areas though.
@jmiller, you raise a good question. Perhaps the speed could just be displayed on an LCD. What is more important in cities is to see jerks behind you. Perhaps we need a rear-facing camera that flips the image right/left (as a mirror would) and displays the picture above the handle bars. Hmm, but why not just use a mirror? Maybe some value add could be brought in here using the Raspberry Pi that a mirror could not -- other sensors perhaps.
I think there are already plenty of different options that help maximize our vision and things like that. I see this and other improvements that are an effort to extend the current human abilities. Stop the bike faster than a human. Or see something that humans can't see. Make a prediction on the facts or surroundings that cause a precautionary response faster than we as humans can do it. I think it's possible but wonder about the costs and value.
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