These smart glasses provide cyclists with an augmented reality experience similar to what you’d expect from Google Glass.
“For me, cycling is both a sport and a hobby,” said Beijing-based Li Jiwen. Twice a month he rides from downtown all the way out to the suburbs; he’s even tackled Qinghai lake, China’s largest, on two wheels even though it’s over 3,000 meters above sea level.
Li has an engineering master’s degree in virtual reality and augmented reality and has experience working in the fields of AR and facial recognition. For his first startup, he’s working on a gadget that uses everything he knows and applies it to cycling.
The Senth IN1 headset is like Google Glass for cyclists – an AR heads-up display that shows useful information and which can be controlled while on the move. Wearers can interact with it either using a touch pad on the side, voice recognition, or a specially-design Bluetooth thumb controller that can be attached to the handlebars.
Hitting the road
It’s now on Indiegogo where the team is hoping to raise at least $40,000 from backers. It’s nearly at the goal with 3 weeks still to go.
Li and his teammates at InSenth started working on the smart cycling glasses back in late 2012 based on his idea to mix AR know-how with his favorite hobby. After more than a year of building and tweaking AR algorithms, a first prototype was ready towards the beginning of last year. By May this year, the fourth prototype was formed and lots of on-the-road testing began before heading towards crowdfunding.
The cheapest Indiegogo package for the Senth IN1 is sold out (it was $199), so the cheapest price right now is $249. The plan is to ship them to buyers in December.
Out of the box, the Senth IN1 does activity tracking like speed, routes, and distance; plays music; supports calling and messaging; takes photos and videos; shares images and routes online; and does navigation and route planning. There’s also danger detection, which kicks in only when you’re using the headset for calls or messaging.
For some extra stuff, like cadence speed (how much you’re pedaling) or heart rate, you can attach some third-party sensors and those will show up on the Senth IN1 display.
The crew behind it consists of 6 people, made up of two algorithm engineers, a hardware engineer, an optical engineer, an industrial designer, and a graphic designer. This is the first startup for all team members.
For them, the Senth IN1 is the start of a series of similar gizmos. “[It] is our first product in the field of sports, and we are planning subsequent products. It may be AR running glasses which are integrated with AR games,” said Li. He has experience developing AR games.
While Google Glass never really took off outside of a small clique of nerds, it’s easy to imagine AR glasses being more popular for very specific applications – and that’s what Li has in mind. “The smart glasses market is not mature, but I believe there are some opportunities in special fields such as sports,” he concluded.
See the Senth IN1 in action below:
This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.
Featured Image Credit: PR screenshot/ Indiegogo