Sportiiiis turns ordinary sunglasses into heads up display eyewear for cyclists
By Paul Ridden
October 23, 2011
Canada's 4iiii Innovations has developed a Head Up Display for athletes that can be mounted on virtually all glasses thanks to included universal attachment points, so there's no need to stop wearing your favorite pair of sport sunglasses. Sportiiiis - pronounced "sport-eyes" - receives crucial performance data from any paired monitoring device via ANT+ wireless technology, compares actual performance with desired workout zone parameters and then feeds real-time indicators back to the user via colored LED lights and audio updates.
Unlike systems like the SportVue retro-fit HUD for motorbike and bicycle helmets or the Transcend ski goggles, Sportiiiis doesn't offer graphic visuals that might cause cyclists to look away from the road ahead at a critical moment. Performance feedback from paired ANT+ devices such as heart rate monitors, power meters, and cadence or speed modules is provided via a simple LED notification system that informs wearers whether they're within a pre-configured optimum workout zone.
If the cyclist or runner sees a red LED light up on the flexible boom that sits in the space between the lens of the chosen eyewear and the user's eye, the athlete is working too hard and needs to ease off a little. Green means the user is in the zone and yellow or orange is somewhere in between.
The water-resistant device also features a built-in speaker for providing audio feedback - in English only at the moment but the company is working on other language packs - and doesn't cover the ear so is safe to use on the road or track. Tapping on the side of the unit prompts an instant audio update and double-tapping cycles through the paired devices.
Users configure the seven multi-colored LEDs and instruct the unit to respond to input from any ANT+ device using Mac, PC or smartphone software. Both the brightness of the LEDs and the volume of the speaker can be adjusted on the unit or via compatible Android/iOS smartphone applications. The company also says that the onboard battery should be good for around ten hours.
The Sportiiiis HUD for cyclists and runners is available from next month, prices start at US$199.
The following video overview shows the kind of thing you can expect from the Sportiiiis system: