Bicycle Heads Down Display Shows You The Way

On a bicycle you’re typically looking ahead and slightly down to make sure you don’t ride over any potholes. While a speedometer is great on the handlebars, what if you could project your speed and other information onto the road ahead? Well, it turns out if you have a smartphone and a bit of ingenuity, you can do just that!

We’ve seen this hack done before with a pico projector, but that’s a pretty big investment for your bicycle. So [Peter] had another idea. What if you could just use your cellphone as is and a bit of optics? It turns out you can buy some pretty cheap “cell phone projectors” from China or Amazon — it’s basically a little cardboard box that your phone fits into, with a cheap plastic lens to project your image. Lumen output is pretty miserable, but if you’re riding at night, it is enough to see by!

Once he had the hardware down pat, he wrote an open source app available on GitHub in case you want to add your own features. If you just want to mess around with it, it’s available on Google Play.

The video is a bit hard to see, but you get the general idea of how it works below:

10 thoughts on “Bicycle Heads Down Display Shows You The Way

  1. Video wins the prize for worst video ive seen all month, the build however, thats pretty sweet, ive actually been thinking of something like it (speed, directions, and last but not least hints for traffic comming from behind) for a while after seeing the vid the article and timgray1 linked too (a while back), great to see it becoming a reality (even if atm its just speed)

  2. Heads up! I will just trust my head (glasses) mounted rearview mirror, and scan for threats all around. Let a navi talk to you if needed. MTV effects the brain it’s with visual distractions.

  3. There is no point in a cyclist knowing their instantaneous speed.
    It is a bad idea to draw the riders attention away from potential obstacles.
    Lights on the road need to be regulated so as to not distract or dazzle other users.
    Things poorly strapped to a pedal cycle can quickly become a hazard to the rider and to others.
    I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do this kind of thing on a public road.

    1. “There is no point in a cyclist knowing their instantaneous speed.”

      Tens of millions of cyclists have speedometers which show exactly that. Prior to the arrival of GPS-enabled devices, all the Cateye type devices didn’t log data, and their only use was showing instantaneous speed and distance. Millions of these dumb devices are still sold.

      So either you are wrong or millions of cyclists are wrong.

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