As cyclocross interval season approaches, we can all remember those days when reading the cycling computer on our stem or handlebars was a challenge. Hitting target wattages and short time durations can be difficult when you have to look down at your stem while putting in all-out efforts, whether it’s because you’re seeing blurry from the pain, or because your head unit’s digits are so tiny.
Another common cycling problem is attempting to navigate a new route safely. Handheld devices limit your steering control, handlebar devices can be distracting and earphones can be dangerous and confusing without a map display.
Fortunately for the tech early adopters in the cycling community, the Everysight Raptor smartglasses will attempt to address these issues and will soon be available on the market. The Raptor glasses, specifically designed for cycling use by an Israeli startup, provide an augmented reality display of key cycling data and a whole host of other features.
Blink and you’ll miss the tech wave in cycling eyewear. Yesterday we took a look at Smith’s Lowdown Focus eyewear. Today we take a look at the Everysight Raptor smartglasses we had a chance to try at Press Camp 2017. Are they relevant for cyclocross and gravel enthusiasts?
Everysight Raptor Projects Augmented Reality Data
The Raptor smartglasses work by projecting data onto the lens itself using Everysight’s proprietary BEAM technology based on Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED). The data is projected onto the right side of the glasses’ lens, but your brain does the rest of the work to center it over your ride.
Sure, heads-up displays exist in many forms, but more obtrusive heads-up display could create obvious problems for cyclists, especially off-road or in tight groups. One of the advantages of the projector-style technology of the Raptor is it allows information to be projected onto the lenses in a more seamless fashion than some other AR products.
The Raptor is ANT+, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible, so it easily syncs with power meters and heart rate monitors. Users are able to set up the AR display to their choice of power, heart rate, speed and other key pieces of data. The smartglasses also come with a workout feature that features a display to let riders know if they are hitting target power outputs during their chosen intervals.
One issue with cycling smart glasses is how to control ride recording, display settings and other features. The Raptor comes with a touchpad for easy control both with and without gloves. It can be set up to respond to voice control or a Bluetooth remote control.
A pair of augmented reality glasses would not be complete without the ability to record the big wattages you crank out in the finishing sprint. The Raptor also has an HR video camera built into the temple of the frame to provide point-of-view video featuring ride data. It also has speakers for listening to tunes out on the trail, and if you are interested in recording a course preview with live audio, it has a microphone as well.
The glasses themselves weigh 95g (3.35oz), which is expectedly higher than some of the other high-end sunglasses we have reviewed. The nosepiece is adjustable for a snug fit and the lenses on the Raptor are interchangeable. Inserts can be used to make them prescription compatible.
Finally, pair of smartglasses that offers a quality display and oodles of features likely will not cut it for many cyclists if they leave them looking like total Freds. We might still look like Freds in action, but can’t really blame the look of the Raptor. Everysight’s projection technology eliminates the need for gaudy offset displays and the resulting product looks relatively sleek given the amenities it offers, but a bit bloated compared to “normal” eyewear.
A Decent Amount of Computer Punch in a Pair of Glasses
The Raptor’s technical specifications show that the smartglasses pack a decent amount of computing power into a small package. The glasses run on the Android operating system with 2 GB of SDRAM and either 16 or 32 GB of external storage.
With that much computing power and so many features included on the glasses, one obvious concern is how long the battery can power the Raptor glasses. Smartglasses that only last an hour might be fine for cyclocross but would really put a damper on their utility for recording gravel adventures. The technical specifications of the Raptor give a battery life of eight hours, and they are charged using a USB 2.0 connection.
The built-in camera can be started with voice controls, and can record up to 1080p in resolution and up to 60 frames per second. It’s a lot of data to send to your phone however, so don’t expect to record a full ride but segment
First Ride Impressions: Coming Soon to a Group Ride…But What About Cyclocross and Gravel?
Like other journalists who have gotten the opportunity to take a look at the Everysight Raptor, we are intrigued by their potential as a cycling training and racing device. The heads-up display provides an interesting way for riders to train, especially when doing short and instense intervals, and the HD camera provides an integrated way to record training sessions, cyclocross races, crashes or traffic incidents (similar to how Cycliq devices are used).
At Press Camp, we took the eyewear out for a very brief demo to see its display and video recording abilities, and were filmed in the process of trying out the new tech:
The display certainly takes some getting used to, and as with any device, it could be a dangerous distraction if you focus on it. Yet if you’ve ever tried to navigate a new route, and keep glancing at your handheld or handlebar-mounted smart phone, the Raptor could possibly make your riding safer. It has the potential to help you navigate a gravel route in a new area, regardless of whether you care about your heart rate or wattage.
As for cyclocross, we think during a race the display would be too distracting during an all-out effort, but are intrigued by the POV action camera potential. You may not get 4K 60fps video, but the lightweight camera with voice activated controls could be fun to capture video of your holeshot attempt, your rival going by you, or the crowd going wild with your finish line celebration or faceplant.
The Raptor smartglasses are still in beta-testing with pricing not yet finalized.
More info: everysight.com.
See our ever-growing collection of new product spotlights from the 2017 Press Camp here.
Andrew Yee contributed to this product spotlight.
Everysight Raptor Augmented Reality Display Cycling Glasses Photo Gallery: