Garmin's Varia Vision brings smarts to regular cycling glasses
Cyclists already have their pick of several brands of Google Glass-like smart glasses, which display data in riders' peripheral vision – this means that they don't have to look down at a cycling computer or smartphone display, taking their eyes off the road in the process. However, what if they already have a pair of "dumb" glasses that they want to keep using? Well, that's where Garmin's Varia Vision add-on comes in.
Announced this week at CES, the Varia Vision is mounted on either arm of existing third-party glasses, its tiny screen appearing in the bottom of the user's vision.
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Communicating wirelessly with compatible smartphones or Garmin Edge cycling computers, it displays content such as performance stats and turn-by-turn navigational prompts, plus it vibrates to notify wearers of incoming calls/text messages, navigational cues or other alerts.
Additionally, if paired with the existing bike-mounted Varia Radar device, it will let riders know when vehicles are approaching from behind. Users switch between its different screens by swiping an integrated glove-friendly touch panel.
The Varia Vision is water-resistant, weighs 29.7 grams, has a claimed battery life of eight hours per charge in "always on" mode, and incorporates an ambient light sensor in order to ensure readability in all conditions. It can be purchased for US$400, and should begin shipping in the first quarter of this year.
It can be seen in use, in the video below.
Along with the Vision and the Radar, Garmin's Varia family also includes a headlight that automatically focuses its beam farther ahead, the faster the user is travelling.