I can’t find the exact post, but Byron from BikeHugger has mentioned a few times that he believes Smartphones will almost completely replace cyclo-computers in the near future. I think that is probably a pretty safe bet, and there is no doubt that iPhone and Android compatible add-ons to track power, cadence, and other cycling specific data that can’t be captured with GPS will continue to be developed and introduced at an increasingly rapid pace. Garmin announced this week that they are launching an iPhone/Android app and there are already numerous mounting systems on the market that allow you to interface a smartphone with your bike.
Perhaps in the future though, you won’t need your smartphone to be mounted to your handlebars. Instead, it may stay tucked away in a pocket or seat bag while the relevant data is fed to a heads-up device like the one pictured here. The Sportiiiis ANT + compatible ‘heads-up display’ for athletes could be a sign of what is come. Currently, the sunglass mounted display system from 4iiii Innovations uses seven multi-colored LED lights and audible cues to provide the wearer with information about heart rate, power, speed, cadence, etc. You can watch the video on the 4iiii website for a better explanation of how it works.
The system from 4iiii Innovations is pretty interesting, but I believe it is only the beginning. As Barry McCauley said in a thread about this on my Google + page, “the full HD/AR (Augmented Reality) Lawnmower Man optics” are still to come. As he goes on to point out, AR goggles are already a reality for skiers so it is only a matter of time before we see the same technology marketed toward cyclists. So I am curious what you think…is this a technology that you would like to try, or a potential distraction from real road hazards? Heads-up displays for cycling are coming whether you like it or not, so now is the time to discuss the safety issue. Personally, I have mixed feelings about a product like this, but I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments.