While launching some interesting new products in Sydney on Wednesday Matt DeMoss, General Manager for Garmin Australasia said “One of the most exciting announcements is the next device in our line of Varia cycling awareness products – the Varia Vision in-sight display. Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead.
Heads up displays (HUD) for cyclists are not new, the Recon Jet launched a couple of years back, with George Hincapie as the smiling face of the brand, but required you to wear their space age glasses, and there is also the Google Glass, which seems to have faded into the background, at least for now.
The Varia Vision is a lightweight unit (just 29g) that clips to either arm of your sunglasses and positions a tiny screen in your field of vision. The device syncs with compatible devices (ie Garmin units) and will receive and display various levels of information from it including, speed, Strava stats, incoming call and text notifications, turn-by-turn prompts including distance to turn, plus street name and directional arrows for navigation. The unit will also pair with Garmin’s rear view radar unit to provide notice of vehicles approaching from behind.
To clarify, the Varia Vison unit doesn’t have GPS capacity itself and it won’t pair directly with your HRM, cadence or power units, but takes data from the Edge unit on your bars which already handles this information. So the Vison is more of a secondary display, albeit tiny and hopefully, conveniently placed. You control the display via a swipe panel on the side of the mount on your glasses arm.
Reports from early users overseas suggest the screen display is sharp and battery life is claimed to be around eight hours.
We’ve approached Garmin for a review unit so we can get a real life experience of its benefits or otherwise while out on the bike, so stay tuned.
Garmin says the Varia Vision in-sight display will be available in Australia in late February and will available for a recommended retail price around $649.