We’ve seen several attempts to create head-up display smartglasses for motorcyclists in the past, and we’ve been wildly unenthusiastic so far … but that just changed.
BMW Motorrad is demonstrating what it is calling “ConnectedRide Smartglasses” at BMW Motorrad Days in Berlin this weekend with release imminent at a price of EUR €690.00 (around USD $750).
Obviously there’ll be a period where supplies reach shores distant to the motherland, but you won’t need a BMW to use the glasses, and if my 50+ years of experience buying BMW Motorrad accessories is anything to go by, they’ll work well and they’ll impress the hell out of you with clever design for motorcyclists by motorcyclists.
The Smartglasses connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and an app and they will display information onto the glasses lens using head-up display technology.
While it might offer a host of information that is largely irrelevant (who needs an app to tell them what gear they are in), some of the information it can project into your consciousness is genuinely useful, particularly GPS navigation, current speed and current prevailing speed limit wherever you might be.
If you’re using them in a familiar environment, I really can’t see any “must have” features, but for riding in a foreign country or an unfamiliar environment, they will definitely make for safer motorcycle riding.
One of the downsides is that the batteries will only last ten hours, so if you’re planning a long day in the saddle, you’ll need to have a lockable box on your bike with a live USB port while you do the toilet-break pitstop routine. That should enable enough additional charge inside 15 minutes to get you an extra few hours of usage, but it’s a strange thought that your glasses might one day be giving you range anxiety.
The glasses come in one colour (Anthracite), but each pair comes with two sets of lenses (1x tinted lens and 1x 85% transparent lens), they’re available in two different sizes (M + L) and can be fitted with different nose pads. They’re also designed, as you’d expect from a through company, so they fit with a wide range of helmets.
The projection can be positioned and the settings can be selected before the ride using the smartphone app, and if you’re riding a modern day BMW, you can do it while riding by using the multicontroller on the motorcycle handlebars.
BMW Motorrad also supplies two sets of certified UVA/UVB lenses with the frame. One set of lenses is 85% transparent and can be used especially for helmets with integrated sun visors. The other set has tinted lenses turning the smartglasses into a perfect pair of sunglasses.
For people who wear glasses, there is an RX adapter (+/- 4.5 diopters). This can be ordered online directly from the provider. The corresponding QR code can be found in the user manual of the ConnectedRide Smartglasses.
We’ll have more information as soon as it’s available
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