Garmin’s Varia Vision created big buzz with cycling enthusiasts at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show. The new wearable puts performance, safety and navigation data all in the cyclist’s line of sight. Which means, eyes are always on the road. A safer, faster, more challenging ride is en route.
On the horizon:
Wearable technology was a bustling category at CES this month, everything from a bow tie shaped dog tracker to smart belts that track your waist size were on display. And while the Apple Watch and Google Glass are a hit with some, the trend is now for niche wearable products, like GoPro, aimed at specific interests. For cyclists, the Varia Vision delivers data to cyclists for a safer and more challenging ride. No need to look down at your watch, phone or bike gear for information. Simply clip on the Varia Vision to your favorite sunglasses and see ride stats in the corner of your eye. In addition, “vibration alerts let you know when you’re approaching segments, completing laps, leaving a workout zone or receiving a call/text,” according to Garmin. If you have it paired with the Varia rearview radar, you’ll know when vehicles are approaching from behind.
Feeling it out:
Weighing just under 1 ounce, the computer device is easy to handle. Simply clip to either side of your sunglasses, sync with other Varia products and your smartphone, then you can flip among 4 different data fields with a touch of a finger including:
- Heart rate
- Navigation details like street names, directional arrows and distance to turn
- Warnings of vehicles approaching from behind (if paired with the Varia rearview radar)
- Vibration alerts for key performance, direction, radar and call/text prompts from your Android or iPhone
Voice commands would make this product even better, but for now we will have to settle with finger touch toggling. The battery life is a nice, long 8 hours. But questions remain about the wearable computer being waterproof enough and whether it creates a blind spot.
Get it now:
Available by March 2016, you can pre-order your Varia Vision for $399.99