► BMW ConnectedRide smartglasses unveiled
► New head-up display eyewear for bikers
► Augmented reality specs cost £590
BMW has unveiled smartglasses for motorcyclists that pack a head-up display to beam important journey data straight into a biker’s line of sight.
It’s like the HUD technology that many premium cars now offer, but worked into a compact set of glasses. The BMW ConnectedRide smartglasses project a rider’s speed, navigation instructions and gear selection onto the lens, to minimise the time spent looking down at dials and away from the road.
BMW ConnectedRide smartglasses: how they work
Riders wear the spectacles as a regular pair of glasses under a helmet; buyers can choose from Medium and Large frames, depending on the size of their face.
Two swappable lenses are included as standard, with clear and tinted finishes. The smartglasses are compatible with prescription lenses, so glasses wearers can use them too.
The rider syncs the specs with the BMW Motorrad Connected app via Bluetooth and this provides the data used to project onto the line of sight. Users can tailor the brightness and position of the data fields, either using the app or a multicontroller on the handlebars.
BMW has partnered with Everysight, an Israeli tech specialist which has been developing its Raptor range of smartglasses for the past two decades.
On test: CAR tries the head-up display BMW smartglasses
CAR had early access to the tech at a preview in its Munich HQ. The glasses fit well and feel a little heavier than regular shades (blame the small lithium-ion battery packs in the arms, providing 10 hours’ usage). On first use, riders must set their focal length and follow a series of instructions to ensure that the data is positioned correctly and legibly for your individual eyesight.
Once set up, the head-up display works well. Some users may find the data too overbearing and you can choose a restricted view to minimise nav instructions to the bare minimum – or have the full monty, with street names and more detail.
It’s all very Minority Report, but the projection works well, with a crisp definition and fast response time. The app beams in the latest speed, navigation and gear selection (on petrol bikes) to the lens at infinite focal length, so the rider’s eye doesn’t struggle to track between two items to focus on. The whole system operates wirelessly, so there’s no need to plug in, apart from when you charge the glasses up at home via USB.
Stephan Reiff, vice president of customer, brand and sales at Motorrad, said: ‘BMW ConnectedRide glasses are a great feature for bikers who want to see all their important journey stats and info whenever they need it, without having to look down at their instruments. Head-up displays are becoming commonplace in BMW’s cars and now we have the chance to offer it to riders on two wheels.’
BMW Motorrad confirmed European prices for the smartglasses at €690 (£590).