The impact of technology on cycling in recent years has been incredible, we now have complex cycle computers with GPS, affordable power meters, smart bike lights and video cameras. Only months after the release of the Garmin Varia RearView Bike Radar, another exciting Varia product has been released today, the Varia Vision which are an external display for cycling glasses.
In the spirit of Google Glass and even the Recon Jet, the effect is inspired by the head-up display – the type of displays which superimpose vision over the goggles of fighter pilots. Some prestigious vehicles also feature a style of head-up display with alerts shown on the windscreen within the field of vision of the driver.
The Garmin Varia Vision, differs from Google Glass and the sports orientated Recon Jet which are glasses with an extendable arm and incorporated display. The Varia Vision is an external unit only – so fits onto your existing sunglasses which is really good news as cycling glasses are personal.
Garmin are promoting the ‘alerts’ feature and it can be paired with the Garmin Edge 1000, the Garmin Edge 520, the Varia Rearview Bike Radar plus can receive alerts from compatible smartphones (with low energy bluetooth).
In our recent Garmin Varia RearView bike radar review I speculated about connecting the Garmin radar with a head-up type display to avoid having to look down. You can view lots of different data, from the proximity of vehicles (detected by the paired RearView radar) to directions (mapping) and performance data.
The Varia Vision still requires you to focus on the the display however means that you are not moving your head and eyes aways from the road. I look forward to trialling and seeing exactly how it works.
Below, you will find a promotion video from Garmin which had gone for the TRON look and feel, but does provide some nice glimpses of the Varia Vision in action and the type of information that you can see.
The Garmin Varia Vision is due on Australian soil in late February 2016 and will retail for $649. More information is available on the US Garmin Website