|The future is now.|
Taking the concept of the Google glasses and applying it to cycling eyewear, the Recon Jet glasses connect wirelessly to all your bike's various sensors, and projects a display image in front of the rider's eyes with all the data anyone could ever desire (in other words, far more data than anyone really needs).
|George Hincapie is plugging them.|
Don't let me forget the most important feature of all, which is the heads-up display, which projects a virtual image in front of the rider's eyes. Recon claims that the image appears virtually as a wide screen 30-in. HD display at 7 feet.
All that data just has to make you faster, doesn't it? I mean, if you're not tracking every watt of power, every minuscule change in heart rate and VO2, or everything else the sensors are supposed to measure for you, then you're not making the most of your ride -- and then what's the point? You're just riding your bike, and what good is that? Seriously, I think that's the message here. So naturally, the Recon Jet glasses are hyped as the "secret weapon" that will turn everyone into a winner.
|Track more data -- and you're practically guaranteed to be a winner.|
Studies on cell phone use while driving have shown that there is very little difference between using a handheld cell phone and a hands free version. The problem with distracted driving isn't the type of device a person is using, but rather it is an issue of the brain's ability to focus. A person talking on the phone, regardless of the type of device, suffers from something researchers have dubbed "inattention blindness." What it means is that a person focusing on a call can be looking right at something -- brake lights, pedestrians, or cyclists -- and not see them. I'm not aware of studies that specifically explore this question of heads-up displays, but it seems to me that the existing studies on cell phones and driving have a good deal of relevance to the matter. It doesn't seem like a stretch to assume that focusing the brain's attention on all that data, and reading any kind of digital display, affects a person's reactions to the rapidly developing dangers that crop up while we're on the roads -- whether commuting, training, or just out for an enjoyable ride.
Once again, it's another example of information overload. Do we really need all that data to ride a bike? Does it really make a ride more enjoyable? More rewarding?
In my work as a teacher, the biggest change I've seen in the past 20+ years has nothing to do with the subject matter, or teaching techniques and strategies, or even in the laws that govern education -- but rather in the push for more data. We are now asked relentlessly, "Where's your data?" "How are you measuring student growth?" Keep in mind that we're being asked to measure things that aren't easily defined, much less measured. Ultimately the "best" teachers today are not necessarily the best at imparting knowledge, or reaching students, or inspiring them, but rather, by who is best at producing data. Seriously, I get enough of it at work -- the last thing I want to do is plug in and ruin my bike rides. I haven't even used the most basic bike computer, like one that simply measures speed and distance, in about 10 years. Yeah, sometimes, after exploring a new route, I'll find myself wondering how far I've gone -- though not enough to bother hooking up another computer.
I know I'm repeating myself here, but I'll say it again. Unplug once in a while. Just ride the damn bike.