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Google Glass isn’t on sale yet, but one of the first apps available will be Strava + video

Wearable computing is one of the hottest areas of development in the tech world, and arguably the most state-of-the-art is Google’s Glass. It's an optical head-mounted display with voice activation, and can show all sorts of information in your field of view from a map of your location, the weather forecast to photographing or filming what you see. And now you can use it for Strava, as the training app is one of the first developed for Glass.

 

Strava of course needs no introduction. It’s responsible for making words like KOM and Segments common lexicon in the cycling world. Strava is just one of five apps currently supported.

“Strava for Glass makes it easy to track your rides, visualize your progress, and challenge your friends,” says Google, “all while keeping your hands on the handlebars.”

So you’ll be able to ride along and using Strava have information like ride time, distance and your location displayed right in front of your eyes. That means you don’t have to take your eye of the road to see how fast you’re going. Plus you can utilise the many other functions Google Glass offers, such as taking photos, recording videos and checking the weather, all without stopping to get your phone out.

Whether this is sort of functionality is something cyclists wants is another thing, or even if there is a market at all for wearable computing, but Google are doing some pioneering stuff with Glass. The growth of wearable computing, with smart watches expected to be the next big growth area, does suggest there’ll be new and interesting ways to monitor your progress and speed when cycling in the future.

Don’t all rush to the shops just yet, Google Glass isn’t even on sale yet and there’s only a loose plan for it to be available sometime next year. Neither has a price been announced.

Perhaps you're wondering just what your vision looks like wearing them? Maybe you're concerned about them being a distraction? This video from Google gives an idea of what it might look like when wearing a pair.

The Guardian has s good video exploring some of the things possible with Glass. 

The idea of using a heads-up display is one offered by the Recon Jet, a product specifically aimed at cyclists to provide ride data, connectivity to third party sensors and smartphones. 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

24 comments

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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Hooray! Another thing for Boris to ban.

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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“Strava for Glass makes it easy to track your rides, visualize your progress, and challenge your friends,” says Google, “all while keeping your hands on the handlebars.”

..and your eyes off the road & peripheral vision skewed! WINNER!

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arrieredupeleton [575 posts] 2 years ago
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Google Glass AND a Rapha jersey. You sir are a winner!

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't want to be a killjoy, but this is what the Department for Transport says:

“We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving.”

Do we really need more accidents, more complex accident liability issues, and yet another reason to be wary of cyclists?

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sfichele [140 posts] 2 years ago
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Headphones - bad!
Directly restricting your vision - that's okay...

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crazy-legs [733 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Directly restricting your vision - that's okay...

You sort of look through it. Bit like a heads up display on a fighter jet.  1
It's sort of projected at infinity in your peripheral vision.

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miuzikboy [59 posts] 2 years ago
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I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords.  4

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lycra vs lager [20 posts] 2 years ago
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Glassholes on bikes - what could possibly go wrong?

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ribena [179 posts] 2 years ago
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FINALLY! I've been waiting years for the technology that can beam endless adverts for penis elargment pills and so on straight into my eyes whilst i cycle to work.

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SteppenHerring [328 posts] 2 years ago
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ribena wrote:

FINALLY! I've been waiting years for the technology that can beam endless adverts for penis elargment pills and so on straight into my eyes whilst i cycle to work.

And in this weather you'll feel like you need it.

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SixtySpeedTwin [6 posts] 2 years ago
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My dads car has got head up display and it's great. Not intrusive at all.

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William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
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SixtySpeedTwin wrote:

My dads car has got head up display and it's great. Not intrusive at all.

Is your dad Airwolf?

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Huw Watkins [92 posts] 2 years ago
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Home sex tapes are never going to be the same!

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sm [376 posts] 2 years ago
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Bring it on. Is this any worse than driver taking their eyes off the road to stare at the huge sat nav screens? The answer to that we need to know. I'm a big fan of the idea, but it needs research into how much it will impact on our vision/attention/likelihood to drive into the kerb.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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sm wrote:

Bring it on. Is this any worse than driver taking their eyes off the road to stare at the huge sat nav screens? The answer to that we need to know. I'm a big fan of the idea, but it needs research into how much it will impact on our vision/attention/likelihood to drive into the kerb.

The big difference for me, whether I'm out on my bike or my lorry, is that I can see when a cyclist is looking down at their garmin or other device, and make allowances for their inattention. With Google Glass, it will be impossible to tell.
If you want proof that this is dumb, just try (as a passenger in a car) looking through the viewfinder of a digital SLR camera, and try to read the displayed data whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

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crazy-legs [733 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

The big difference for me, whether I'm out on my bike or my lorry, is that I can see when a cyclist is looking down at their garmin or other device, and make allowances for their inattention. With Google Glass, it will be impossible to tell.

Surely (as a driver) you see a cyclist and give them a large amount of space. Doesn't matter whether or not you know that the cyclist *might* conceiveably be looking at something on his bars or something in the corner of his eye?

Quote:

If you want proof that this is dumb, just try (as a passenger in a car) looking through the viewfinder of a digital SLR camera, and try to read the displayed data whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

Yes but that takes away your peripheral vision, this doesn't. I'm no Top Gun but I've flown planes with Head Up Display - that's a hell of a lot more data and you're operating in three dimensions - works fine. On a road (so basically 2 dimensions) with less data, it's less intrusive than looking at a satnav or glancing down at the speedo (if you're driving) and less distracting than looking down at a Garmin (if you're riding).

The usual massive fuss about nothing. Of course, whether or not you *need* to know how many seconds you're up or down on that KOM in live time is another debate entirely - to be honest I can live without that until I get home and upload it!

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

The big difference for me, whether I'm out on my bike or my lorry, is that I can see when a cyclist is looking down at their garmin or other device, and make allowances for their inattention. With Google Glass, it will be impossible to tell.

Surely (as a driver) you see a cyclist and give them a large amount of space. Doesn't matter whether or not you know that the cyclist *might* conceiveably be looking at something on his bars or something in the corner of his eye?

Quote:

If you want proof that this is dumb, just try (as a passenger in a car) looking through the viewfinder of a digital SLR camera, and try to read the displayed data whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

Yes but that takes away your peripheral vision, this doesn't. I'm no Top Gun but I've flown planes with Head Up Display - that's a hell of a lot more data and you're operating in three dimensions - works fine. On a road (so basically 2 dimensions) with less data, it's less intrusive than looking at a satnav or glancing down at the speedo (if you're driving) and less distracting than looking down at a Garmin (if you're riding).

The usual massive fuss about nothing. Of course, whether or not you *need* to know how many seconds you're up or down on that KOM in live time is another debate entirely - to be honest I can live without that until I get home and upload it!

Don't worry about the peripheral vision, the key to the analogy was to see if looking at the data detracted from your ability to look at the road. My belief is that it does indeed detract, and so does the Department for Transport, so this argument is pretty academic. Once the first fixed penalties are issued then word will get round.

Not so sure of the plane analogy. Surely the fact that planes not only travel much farther apart, but also at different heights, means that collisions are much rarer. Plus there are proximity warning sytems, established protocols, a need to register your flight plan, corridors that segregate different types of air traffic, extensive pilot training, and air traffic control; all assisting pilots in their quest for a safe flight.

Whereas, in the UK, there are around 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) accident claims submitted to motor insurance companies per day. Far too many to have riders tanking along whilst checking the weather forcast.

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dave atkinson [6209 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

Whereas, in the UK, there are around 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) accident claims submitted to motor insurance companies per day. Far too many to have riders tanking along whilst checking the weather forcast.

they can already do that, assuming they have a new garmin, or a smartphone, the use of either of which is currently legal when riding a bike.

looking at data will detract from your ability to look at the road. but since we've made a decision that looking at data is acceptable (bike computers, car instruments, sat nav) I can't see that there's any argument at all for banning google glass just because it's displaying data. if it was proven to be more distracting than other forms of displaying data, then maybe. but so far as i know, there's no study that shows that. anyone seen one?

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

Whereas, in the UK, there are around 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) accident claims submitted to motor insurance companies per day. Far too many to have riders tanking along whilst checking the weather forcast.

they can already do that, assuming they have a new garmin, or a smartphone, the use of either of which is currently legal when riding a bike.

looking at data will detract from your ability to look at the road. but since we've made a decision that looking at data is acceptable (bike computers, car instruments, sat nav) I can't see that there's any argument at all for banning google glass just because it's displaying data. if it was proven to be more distracting than other forms of displaying data, then maybe. but so far as i know, there's no study that shows that. anyone seen one?

It's an awkward one, Dave.

The way I see it is that it's easy to notice someone glancing down at their garmin, and so I'm able to react to their momentary lack of situational awareness. But, if they're using Google Glass, it's impossible to tell. That is where the potential conflict lies, and I'm fairly sure that if I was hauling 44 tonnes, not many cyclists sharing the road with me would want to see me using Google Glass. It must surely work both ways. Apart from anything, courts are already reducing settlements for cyclists not wearing helmets; can you imagine the complexity of a case where the cyclist is wearing, but claiming momentarily not to be "using", Google Glass?

My gut feeling is that they'll be a big debate in the media once the first penalties are handed out. Drivers will say, "what about cyclists then?", and a "clarification" by the Department for Transport will be issued, to the effect that Google Glass (or similar) will be banned for cyclists too. Google's proprietary specs are not exactly annonymous are they, so they'll be easy to spot by any passing patrol who just need to notch up another fixed penalty at the end of their shift.

I can see this being used in the pro peloton, for cyclo cross and, if I was thinking about the hour record then I would be asking my engineers to investigate incorporating this technology into my aero helmet (if Wiggo hasn't already thought of this then two tickets to see him break the hour record would be very welcome  16 ) , but I can't see it being allowed legally on a public road.

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dave atkinson [6209 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree it's a thorny one. but i'm not sold on the idea that it's necessarily worse than looking down, nor that the average road user would make any allowances for you doing that. or even notice.

if the tests were done and HUD proved to be a safer method of displaying satnav information in a 44-tonner than a separate screen, then i'd want eveyone on HUD. and if it was the other way round, i'd probably want it restricted. but right at this moment in time any ban for google glass is just a knee-jerk reaction. we don't know whether it's better or worse. it's just different. I'm tempted to suggest that it's no worse than an aftermarket satnav, most of which are placed within the swept area of the windscreen and so are technically illegal anyway.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

I agree it's a thorny one. but i'm not sold on the idea that it's necessarily worse than looking down, nor that the average road user would make any allowances for you doing that. or even notice.

if the tests were done and HUD proved to be a safer method of displaying satnav information in a 44-tonner than a separate screen, then i'd want eveyone on HUD. and if it was the other way round, i'd probably want it restricted. but right at this moment in time any ban for google glass is just a knee-jerk reaction. we don't know whether it's better or worse. it's just different. I'm tempted to suggest that it's no worse than an aftermarket satnav, most of which are placed within the swept area of the windscreen and so are technically illegal anyway.

Some fair points there, Dave. Certainly this technology will provoke many discussions over the next few months.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 2 years ago
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Love this, typical forum rubbish and yes i am waiting to be shot down so bring it on, as always people rubbishing something thst isn't even available, something you have not even seen in the flesh never mind used.

I use a garmin, ive used bike computers for years, are these distracting ? Well yes because you take your eyes off the road so lets ban those as well.

However let me tell you something, Ive had these glasses since they were released to software developers, i work in 3D software and have been developing solutions for the glasses and let me tell you from actual experiances, they are a million times safer than a garmin, they are not distracting and unless watching the sky is important to you when you ride they do not effect your peripherial vision.

Now of course, there can be issues, its a tool and you could in theory watch a porn video as you ride, but this is not the fault of the device, its the fault of the rider so don't blame the device for stupid riders.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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The next thing after helmets that everyone who's ever ridden a bike can go on and on about

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timtak [48 posts] 1 year ago
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Google glass plus Ghostracer or Cliiiimb = virtual peleon, and death.