Garmin has created Varia Vision, an in-sight display for cyclists' sunglasses that puts information directly in line of sight. The device displays key data from a compatible device including performance data, turn-by-turn directions, incoming smart notifications, such as telephone calls and emails.
When paired with the Varia rear-view radar system Varia Vision warns users of motorised traffic approaching from behind. Varia Vision has been launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The device will have eight hours of always-on battery life and a glove and wet-weather friendly touch panel to toggle between data displays.
Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales said: “Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead.”
However, there may be complaints from safety campaigners who will say that such devices (the Jet Black from Recon Instruments is similar) will lead to the sort of info-rich distractions that now bombard some motorists. However, as Bluetooth-equipped devices for cyclists are unlikely to stream Netflix as might occur in the "connected car" of the near-future the distractions may be a much lesser magnitude.
BikeBiz asked Garmin to comment on these safety concerns, and we were sent this statement:
"[Varia Vision is] for situational awareness only. Users should view data on the display at a glance only and should always focus on surroundings."
The statement added:
"Varia Vision is essentially repositioning the data shown on the Edge in a much easier and relevant position for the cyclist. Previously the rider would have to look down toward the Edge unit to see this data, averting their sight significantly away from their direction of travel. Varia Vision allows the rider to view this same data much easier, quicker and safer. Set up correctly Varia Vision does not obscure or distract the cyclist's view."
Varia Vision in-sight display will begin shipping within the next three months and will be available for £319.99.