Riding a bike while looking down at a smartphone isn’t the safest or smartest thing to do. While you could just pull over to use the phone, Chinese tech manufacturer Insenth is offering an alternative – augmented reality glasses designed specifically for cyclists. Called Senth IN1, they not only let riders place and receive phone calls, but they also let them select music, take photos, navigate, and more.
Senth IN1 communicates with the user’s iOS or Android phone via Bluetooth, while also communicating with a handlebar-mounted capacitive thumb remote. As with Google Glass, a small transparent video image is projected in the lower corner of the user’s field of view. Riders control functions either by using the remote, voice commands, head movements, or a lateral touchpad on one arm of the glasses.
Along with an HD camera (720p/30fps), mic and speaker, Senth IN1 also features onboard electronics such as a GPS unit, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, an ambient light sensor and a barometric altimeter. Power is provided by a USB-rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, that should be good for about five hours of intensive use.
As mentioned, the glasses relay calls from the paired phone, plus they let users search through their music library, shoot videos or stills (there’s 1GB of RAM), and receive on-screen navigational cues. Additionally, however, they can also display ride data (current speed, distance traveled, calories burned, etc), leave messages for other users that pop up at specific locations, plan/record routes, and receive warnings of oncoming vehicles. Using the ANT+ wireless protocol, it’s also possible to access data from third-party devices such as heart rate monitors or power meters.
And yes, both the glasses and the remote are "weatherproof," so a little rain shouldn’t hurt them. The glasses also have interchangeable lenses, for different riding conditions.
Insenth is currently raising production funds for the Senth IN1 glasses, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$249 will get you a pair with a remote and four lenses, when and if they’re ready to go.
You can see the glasses in use, in the following video.