Bike helmets have modified loads over time. They’re higher trying, lighter, extra snug, quieter and, most significantly, safer than they had been a decade or two in the past. The nice ones are a hell of much more costly, too, however one factor they don’t seem to be is smarter. You’ll be able to simply spend upwards of $500 to $1,000 for a premium-branded helmet. For that, you may get one thing functionally equal to a $99 no-name particular.
With seemingly all the pieces else in our lives providing some semblance of connectivity and at the least a notional definition of “sensible,” it is stunning that helmets are nonetheless so remedial. Fortunately, numerous startups are attempting to fill the void, and probably the most promising is Nuviz. Why? They’ve really shipped practical product, the $700 Nuviz Head-Up Show, or HUD. Nuviz guarantees to make any helmet sensible. However will it make them sensible sufficient?
Nuviz mounts on the entrance of your helmet utilizing a pad of double-sided adhesive. You stick a plate onto the chinbar of your lid, then run a pair of small earpieces and a microphone into your helmet. The earpieces and mic slot in simply sufficient, however I used to be shocked to seek out that the plate was fairly troublesome to mount.
It is roughly two inches sq., too large for the primary helmet I attempted, an AGV Corsa. This helmet has a large chinbar, but it surely’s deeply creased, and there was merely no solution to match the Nuviz plate on there securely. So, I went to my different helmet, a Shoei RF-1200. On this one I had the other drawback: The chinbar is barely concave, and so I nonetheless could not make the plate connect securely.
So, I dug out my outdated, smelly Shoei RF-1100, which has a extra delicate form than its successor. Lastly, right here was a helmet that had a flat sufficient floor for me to mount the Nuviz in a spot the place I might really see it. And that is an essential qualifier.
Nuviz makes use of a mirrored show to venture a picture in the direction of your eye. The impact is of a show that is floating in house just a few ft in entrance of you, very like the Google Glass of yore. That is good for eye aid, but it surely additionally means the positioning needs to be fairly exact so that you can get most distinction. The top of Nuviz does pivot and rotate barely in order that you do not have to have it within the absolute excellent place, but it surely does must be shut.
As soon as I had that sorted, I needed to cope with the straightforward matter of mounting the Nuviz controller onto my bike. The popular approach is to stay a mounting bracket, once more with double-sided tape, onto the facet of your left grip. The system does include a second mounting bracket for those who simply need to stick it in your tank or another flat floor, however curiously the package would not embrace sufficient mounting so that you can use the grip mount on one bike and the tank mount on one other.
The Nuviz’s major, default performance is as a heads-up speedometer. It shows the velocity restrict in addition to your present velocity. On one hand that is fairly good, if solely as a result of the speedos on most bikes are notoriously inaccurate. Nonetheless, given the place of Nuviz in your helmet, down low and to the best, I really discovered myself having to look farther from the street to see how briskly I used to be going than if I merely regarded straight down on the bike’s personal gauge cluster.
Whether or not that is true for you depends upon what sort of bike you experience. If you happen to’re using a sportbike, Nuviz would possibly really be extra of an eyes-down system than head-up.
Nuviz may also do navigation, however anybody used to providers like Google Maps will instantly be disenchanted. All locations should be predefined by means of the Nuviz app, and when you can create customized routes with waypoints, which is doubtlessly nice, there is not any solution to converse a brand new tackle or, certainly, get re-routed due to visitors.
There’s only one button on the Nuviz itself, energy. For all the pieces else you may have to make use of the distant management.
A Nuviz consultant tells me that requesting locations by voice is coming in a future replace, however for now you may have to tug over, take out your cellphone and enter within the tackle on your new vacation spot.
Navigation does work independently of your cellphone, maps are cached offline within the system itself, so no worries for those who’re using someplace and not using a knowledge connection. That is doubtlessly nice, however given you continue to want to make use of the cellphone to enter in locations and create routes, that offline worth is a bit restricted until you are planning all the pieces upfront.
Nuviz may also play music in your cellphone, however on Android at the least it’s going to solely play or pause no matter you had going earlier than your experience. Nuviz will not launch any of your media apps or certainly let you choose a playlist.
You may make calls, however solely to predefined contacts. Have to name Aunt Millie to let her know you are operating 20 minutes late? Hope you remembered to tag her within the app earlier than you left. And also you’d higher keep in mind to shout, too. Quantity stage of the Nuviz headset is poor, and the noise cancelation of the microphone additionally is not nice. Name high quality pales compared to one of the best from helmet intercom programs like Sena.
Photographs from the digital camera are clear sufficient to identify the license plate quantity on that jackass who lower you off on the way in which residence.
Lastly, there’s the digital camera, maybe the Nuviz’s most helpful characteristic. Neither the eight-megapixel nonetheless pictures nor the 1080p video will win you any awards for distinction or coloration, however photos are clear and vibrant sufficient to identify the license plate quantity on that jackass who lower you off on the way in which residence, which is actually what’s most essential.
And battery life is fairly stable, too. Nuviz says the massive, three,250 mAh battery provides you with eight hours of reasonable utilization. Even with a variety of video recording and different use my bike ran out of fuel earlier than that battery ran out of juice.
Fascinating, however not there but
I actually like the concept of the Nuviz, and given how a lot good helmets value it actually appears like they need to do extra for you than simply defend your noggin. Sadly, although, this explicit try so as to add extra skill to your lid comes up nicely brief.
For $699, the performance right here is slim, and what there may be typically fails to be genuinely helpful. Promised software program updates ought to go some solution to addressing that time, but it surely’ll nonetheless depart a really costly system that is far too massive.
When Nuviz is half the associated fee, half the scale and may do twice as a lot I sit up for reviewing it once more. Till then, for those who strive calling me once I’m on a experience, please go forward and depart a message. I am going to get again to you once I’m accomplished getting misplaced.