Technology and influence can and does come from all sources – take for instance the commonalities between fighter jets and bicycle riding.
Both can be fast paced, require catlike reflexes, and are technology driven. Now Everysight is hoping the two can share heads-up displays.
The Israeli firm has more than sufficient knowledge in the eyewear displaying information world since it makes 90% of the helmets for the world's fighter jet pilots.
Everysight Raptor specs
- Grilamid TR-90 frames
- Interchangeable lenses
- 16 or 32GB internal storage
- ANT+, Bluetooth 2.0 and 4.0, Wifi, and micro-USB connectivity
- GPS and GLONASS navigation
- HD camera
- Rechargeable battery
- 95g / 3.35oz
The smartglasses competition
If you're thinking "I've seen this before," you're right – sort of. Everysight's Raptor sunglasses are not the first heads-up display cycling glasses.
The Canadian company, 4iiii debuted its goofily named Sportiiiis in 2011. The Sportiiiis attached to the arm of any sunglass and simply showed small LED dots while a speaker provided more specific metrics.
The major difference between the Raptors and the competitors is the integration of the display. Other heads-up displays add a unit onto the glasses arm and then display information onto the lens.
Everysight uses a tiny display projector with organic LED (like what's found in nicer smartphones and televisions) technology near the bridge of the glasses. Everysight calls it 'Beam technology'. It overlays the information directly in the line of sight of the user.
Everysight Raptor: in use
I was able to take the Raptor smartglasses for a very quick spin last month while in Park City, Utah.
Setup was pretty straightforward, with a control unit on the right side of the handlebars, a wrist strap for heart rate measurement, and the glasses paired to a smartphone.
If you've ever driven a car with a heads-up display, where speed and RPMs are projected onto the windshield, you'll have a decent idea of how it looks. Honestly it amazes me that our eyes can so quickly focus near and far without much effort.
The clarity of the information appeared bright and easy to read, but thankfully didn't seem overly intrusive. Within a few minutes it was simple to look past the display and through the lenses, just like with normal sunglasses.
Back to the riding, the map feature impressed me the most. Just like a smartphone, when at an intersection, it shows you which way to turn, but also adjusts as you turn your head from side to side.
It seemed simple to scroll through the different displays and switch the glasses into photo or video mode.
I did find the display to be a tad higher than I'd have liked on the prototype glasses I was wearing, but with adjustable nose pieces I assume I could get the fit in line.
In comparison with the Garmin Varia Vision clip-ons, the display was much easier to read since it was central rather than in the upper corner of the lens.
The Raptors can be controlled in three different ways. The first is the handlebar remote, the second is by swiping the glasses' earpiece and the third is by voice activation. I could see the voice activation being hugely useful for the camera mode when trying to get a clear image of the inattentive driver that just buzzed you a bit too close.
Who's it for?
While I only had one pretty quick ride using the Raptors, my guess is that these enhanced shades will find fans in cyclists who are data focused, and spend equal amounts of time staring at their computer on the bike and analyzing the numbers off it.
In contrast with that demographic, I could also see a slightly scaled-back version of these gaining popularity with self-guided bike tours, where the map is pre-loaded for idiot-proof directions.
Everysight Raptor pricing and availability
Want to save a bit of money? Starting October 24, 2017, riders can register for a special pre-order invitation at https://everysight.com/. However, quantities are limited. The Raptor glasses promo pricing is $499/€579 for the 16GB and $549/€639 for the 32GB, regular pricing is $649/€749 for the 16GB and $699/€809 for the 32GB versions. Shipments are slated for February 2018.
Due to regulatory approval processes, registrants in the UK and EU will receive invitations in January 2018, and will be able to pre-order Raptors at the early adopter price, with shipments beginning in April 2018. For more information on the invitation and pre-order process, visit Everysight.