Anything on your smartphone screen can be transmitted to the HUD, bringing data into your line of sight.
By Murray Slovick, Contributing Editor
Most people carry cell phones on their person, and motorcyclists and bicyclists are no exception. But when you’re on two wheels, the last thing you need is a distraction. A lot more cars and trucks are on the road than motorcycles. With its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spot, and when on a bike, you’re not surrounded by two tons of protective steel.
Just as in a car, every time you take your eyes off the road, whether looking down at instruments or glancing at scenery or a roadside accident, you’re at particular risk. At 65 mph, things happen quickly; if you look at your mobile phone for two seconds, you’ll have driven most of the length of a football field before you can refocus on the road again.
For all of these reasons, a head-up display (HUD) makes a lot of sense: The concept of displaying pertinent information on a screen in front of the pilot means data is readily available without having to look at your cell phone to follow directions, receive calls or messages, and control your music.
Hudway’s Sight is a HUD kit that brings needed information into your line of sight, creating a safer riding experience. It can be fitted to any type of helmet and can be moved from helmet to helmet. The smartphone serves as the control panel for the head-up display, allowing users to stay focused, concentrated and connected to the on-the-road world around them.
What’s It Made Of?
Hudway Sight consists of three major components. A lens that attaches universally to just about any helmet; a CPU (RockChip RK3036G microprocessor with 512 MB of RAM and 2 GB of ROM) that mounts to the back of your helmet, wirelessly transmitting information from your smartphone to the lens; and a 2400-mAh lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery that gives the entire kit up to five hours of autonomous operation.
The lens is comprised of a miniature projector that receives the information from the CPU and projects it on to a waveguide piece of optics propagating the light signals and superimposing graphics directly in your line of sight. This part is also equipped with an ambient light sensor, which allows for automatic adjustment of the projection brightness depending on the visibility conditions outside.
The kit is compatible with other devices, including Bluetooth headsets, rear-view/night-vision cameras, and distance meters, expanding its use cases. In addition, it has a voice assistant that alerts you on the next upcoming maneuver when following GPS navigation, such as offered by Hudway’s GO App, a simple phone-based GPS navigation app for drivers.
GO displays just the outline of the road you’re driving on and your next turn. A long tap on the map is all you need to set the destination and you can search for addresses and points of interest at your start point and destination. The app also provides ETA, speed, and distance traveled.
Hudway Sight is made in collaboration with DigiLens, a Silicon Valley-based waveguide optics firm, and Young Optics, whose specialty is developing projection optics. DigiLens has developed a proprietary waveguide manufacturing process that allows the company to “print” light-manipulating structures into thin and transparent materials wherein light can be guided along the optic and be made to project perpendicularly, forming an image.