In the multisport/cycling world, technology moves quickly and you have to be fast to keep up with the latest innovation that is touted to change the way you ride your bike. Every now and again though, an advancement comes along that really seems to open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to both your enjoyment when riding your bike but also the ease of data and information consumption when on the move.
This is exactly what happened when Everysight announced their Raptor Augmented Reality glasses designed specifically to enhance the experience for those that ride bikes.
The Everysight Raptor Augmented Reality smart glasses take advantage of their own patented Everysight BEAM projection technology to display all the critical information a cyclist requires on the inside of the glasses lense. Sounds a bit James Bond? It kind of is.
The information displayed on the inside of the lens is semi-transparent and is said to provide no interference when it comes to vision of the road or surroundings whilst keeping the rider fully locked into to their data. You will no longer have to glance away from the road to view your data or check your power – this could be ideal for triathlon when staying as aero as possible is always the goal!
The Raptor glasses boast plenty of features including real time data and ANT+/BT connectivity such as heart rate, cadence, speed, power distance and more. They boast built in navigation with free mapping and no additional purchases giving turn by turn navigation as the ride continues. The built in software has the option to pre-load workouts from Training Peaks giving in ride instruction to ensure the rider hits the required workout objectives at the right time. Bluetooth connectivity links to your smartphone allowing notifications to be viewed as you ride along and a built in look and shoot HD camera gives the rider the option to capture any moment of their ride for post ride sharing.
The glasses claim 8 hours battery life or up to 120 miles before charging is required. They also advertise a series of additional extras like a handlebar controller, prescription lens adaptors and tinted visors.
I’m out of breath having listed all of those incredible features – oh, and there is also the option to upload your MP3 playlist for music whilst riding from the frame mounted speakers which apparently keep your ears clear and do not obstruct outside noise.
This all sounds like it is a data lovers dream – but will it work in reality when you’re on the road trying to navigate your training rides? Will it distract the rider from safety critical moments or swamp the rider with too much data? Well Everysight state that safety is at the forefront of their minds and with the ability to customise the experience to provide data heavy or as streamlined as each individual requires, then everyone should be able to find their sweet spot. It may take some getting used to but we are very excited by the possibilities this new technology offers.
It may not be for everyone – those cyclists that ride simply for the joy of being outside and feeling free of all external interruptions will probably steer clear of this onslaught of data being fed directly in front of their eyes. For those of us that hang off every watt and weigh the value of every training session based on hitting objectives, recording information and sharing training with friends these glasses may well change the game.
With this technology only a few months away from launch – pre orders being taken at an early adopter price in November 2017 through their website on a pre application invite basis with shipping expected February 2018 (registrants in the UK will receive invitations in January 2018 with shipments beginning in April 2018) – we thought it was an ideal opportunity to catch up with Asaf Ashkenazi, Co-Founder and CEO of Everysight to find out more about the journey the company has been on:
Asaf – great to have the opportunity to run through some of the background behind the Raptor – so where did this idea come from and whose idea was it that led to the design of the Raptor?
Coming from the Aerospace domain we always had the desire to take the pilot’s AR experience and bring it to the mass consumer. The inception goes back to early 2000s when a small team of engineers including myself as the team leader started to work on this project. Our early prototypes included waveguide technology and Google Glass-like solutions but we found that they weren’t adequate for outdoor AR thus bringing the team to develop the BEAM™ technology that is being used today on Raptor.
From the initial design concept how long has it taken to refine the product to a finished article?
Don’t ask! Although we are coming with tons of experience from the Aerospace AR domain, the ability to meet the harsh requirements of the consumer outdoor AR took us practically 15 years. Through several design iterations and user experience trials the roadmap to finding the right solution that will meet the user’s expectations took us a while. Although this has been a long journey, I must say that we are very happy and pleased to be the first True AR system in the market for outdoor use.
From a usability standpoint what problems were you trying to solve with the Raptor, and have you achieved all of your objectives?
Great question. Information is all around us but we get it from different devices and it’s not always easy. For example, when you’re cycling you connect your sensors (i.e. Power, Cadence, Speed, HR,…) to your bike computer. You may have a GoPro to take pictures and videos. Probably a phone too for music and staying connected. So many devices, each with its own interface and limitations.
Raptor makes your life easy. All the information is connected directly to the device and presented in a seamless manner on top of your world. Whether it’s your stats, navigation information, workouts, phone notifications and more; you can easily track them at the blink of your eyes without losing what’s important – the road ahead. The user has full control over the display and may predefine what information he/she wants to see so don’t think we are overloading you with information. Also taking pictures is fun and simple. You just have to “look and shoot” and afterwards easily download the media to your phone or computer. Raptor makes information easy and it’s a game changing experience to everyone that has used it.
I understand that to order, people have to sign up for an invitation to pre-order when the Raptor is released – how soon after this first wave will there be a second opportunity to order a pair?
We are open to signing up for an invitation and we have started sending invitations in the US and planning to continue into Europe early next year. Demand is big therefore I suggest that customers that think of buying a Raptor for themselves or as a present to sign up on our website.
Thinking back to the original concept how does the Raptor sit next to those initial design ideas? Have you exceeded your design expectations?
Our early concepts involved waveguides and miniature optical elements that sat in front of your face. At the time (2003-2006) we thought it would work but after testing it with dozens of users we found out that our design approach needed refinement. They liked the AR display concept but asked us to make it look more like typical eyewear. We went back to the drawing board and started designing our first AR smartglasses (2007) and through several design and development iterations we managed to miniaturize it to the form factor, style, and functionality we desired and Raptor is the result.
Looking forward, Everysight will always strive to improve its design and functionality providing even better experience to what you see today.
The Everysight website has a section where you can experience what it is like to have a HUD while riding a bike and also tons of information about the product, timeline from inception to completion, and all of the options available through pre order.
We will be getting our hands of a pair for test and review shortly and look forward to giving you a complete run down of the glasses from unboxing through to usability in both the short and long term.
*Everysight Raptor retails at $649 dollars for the 16BG version or $699 for the 32GB upgrade but the pre orders currently being taken have a discount applied bringing this down to $499 and $549 respectively.