Student's Choice: Everysight Raptor

Introduction

While doing physical activity, many people use fitwatches or bracelets to keep track of their heart-rate, the calories consumed and general stats regarding the session, like duration and distance travelled. Watching these devices while performing the physical activity can be quite uncomfortable. For example, if you’re just walking around or going for a light run it might not be much of a problem, but if you’re cycling it can be hard to maintain a high speed and giving attention to the watch without losing focus on the road and, perhaps, lose control of the bike.
Everysight Raptor augmented reality glasses are made specifically for cycling and they allow to keep track of all the important stats while keeping focus on the road ahead.
And let’s admit it, all cyclists, competitors or amateurs, would love to have videogame-like user interface in their real life sight that tells them current speed, slope and more. Raptor glasses allow exactly that and much more, with features such as integrated microphone and camera to register your own ride in the wild.

Technical specifications

As the introduction said, the Raptor pair of glasses brings a Heads-Up Display technology to cyclists.

The visor is designed to be aerodynamic and protect against high-velocity impacts. The default visor has a dark tint color, but a separate light-tint one can be bought separately, useful for low light conditions.
The display is powered by an OLED projector that guarantees high contrast and brightness for outdoor scenarios.
The batteries last up to 8 hours and they can be recharged via micro-usb even while they are being used.
The glasses can connect with other devices via ANT+, bluetooth and Wi-Fi. ANT+ allows to display the connected devices’ information onto the display, such as notifications. Wi-Fi allows instead to retrieve data from the internet and upload the audio and video recordings using a dedicated Everysight app. The glasses are also equipped with GPS and sensors such as accellerometer, barometer and gyroscope.
The side of the glasses contains a touchpad used to interact with the display. It supports swipe and touch gestures.
They also feature a built-in internal speaker and micrphone, which can be used to control the device instead of the touchpad. They also feature a 13.2 MP front camera that allows to capture HD videos and photos.
There is also available an external controller that can be placed on the bicycle handbar, so that the user doesn’t have to move his hand away from the grip.

Features

The HUD is projected onto the visor in such a way that it’s superimposed on whatever you’re looking at. This guarantees comfort and the videogame-feel of the display. The position itself of the screen can be adjusted via the app.
The HUD can display many stats like speed, distance, heart rate and power. All of these features can be customized so that the user can find the configuration that he enjoys the most.
Bluetooth allows to connect with the phone and receive notifications directly on the display. It supports mails, texts, schedules and more. Thanks to the microphones and audio speaker it is also possible to call other people and receive phone calls. The dual microphone setup helps to minimize the external noise, like the wind.

The audio speakers allow to listen to your own music playlist, that you need to upload onto the glasses themselves. The software is based on Android, so compatibility with many phone models and future integration of new functionalities is to be expected.

The front camera and the two microphones allow to record videos and capture photos in 1080p. The HUD will be integrated in the recordings, so who watches the video will also see the display. Said recordings can be later on uploaded onto the phone via Wif-Fi.

One of the coolest features of the Everysight Raptor glasses is the integration of GPS and maps to show the road ahead in a really arcade game manner. The track is showed in the middle of the stats and allows you to keep track of where you are and to see which turns you are going to take next. There’s also a workout feature that allows to easily keep track of burnt calories, distance to reach the goal and so on. This feature works best if the glasses are paired with a device that allows to gather your physical data, such as the heart rate.

Reviews

Let’s take a look at what do some cyclists actually think about this product.

Tom Puzak, when writing for gearjunkie.com, voiced his opinion about a pretty interesting topic:
I found the HUD to be particularly valuable while riding in a group, as it can be treacherous to take your eyes off the rider ahead. But it also proved helpful on singletrack, where even a brief look down can result in a missed rock, root, or turn.
And riding with others wearing Raptors inspires even more confidence, as it’s less likely they’ll be looking down when they need to be paying attention.
This is an aspect that I personally didn’t think about. The main purpose of the Raptor is to let you stay focused on the road ahead and on your surroundings by showing you everything you need. This doesn’t simply mean that you can avoid missing a turn, it also means that you can pay more attention to the danger around you, like cars, roads in bad conditions and other cyclists.

Russel Eich, from bikeradar.com, wrote:
The clarity of the information appeared bright and easy to read, but thankfully didn't seem overly intrusive. Within a few minutes it was simple to look past the display and through the lenses, just like with normal sunglasses. 
This comment implies one crucial, but often overlooked, thing: the Raptor works. As interesting as the promise of augmented reality is, if it doesn’t feel right it becomes a mere expensive experiment, and a failure. The general opinion though is that this pair of glasses works, it doesn’t feel intrusive and it doesn’t overwhelm the user. You still seem to need some time to get adjusted to them, as Clifford Lee wrote on cxmagazine.com:
The display distracted me during my first ride, but that’s why the tutorial recommends a very short ride with the Raptor glasses when you first use them. I found turning down the brightness was significantly helpful, and with each subsequent ride, I spent less time looking at the data display, only checking it when I wanted to see how much power I was generating or how fast my descent actually was.
Russel Eich also commented about GPS features of the product, giving a really interesting idea for how it could be used for a tourism-oriented approach:
Back to the riding, the map feature impressed me the most. Just like a smartphone, when at an intersection, it shows you which way to turn, but also adjusts as you turn your head from side to side. [...] I could also see a slightly scaled-back version of these gaining popularity with self-guided bike tours, where the map is pre-loaded for idiot-proof directions.
The Raptor looks like a really good product, right? We've seen a lot of praise until now, but there are downsides too. Tom Puzak wrote:
Raptors are not very comfortable. They’re not adjustable and didn’t fit a fellow big-headed tester well, resulting in a headache after about two hours of use.
Also, they are not particularly good-looking either. The amount of tech onboard is impressive, and it’s crammed into a reasonable size. But it’s still pretty obvious you’re a cycling cyborg when you roll up at the coffee shop.
And let's remember that the price isn't particularly accessible to everyone. 650$ are a lot if you aren't really passionate about cyclism. A lot of reviewers labeled the glasses as an innovative product that pushes the boundaries of the current monitoring tech, but also as a product that only a few will be able to try and appreciate.

Conclusions

The Everysight Raptor offer a unique way to experience cyclism. Their implementation of augmented reality isn't too fancy and instead aims to give additional feedback and information to the user, rather than enhancing the world with complex 3D models like the Ikea app. The various functionalities offered by the glasses are definetly useful and welcomed by the cyclism community. The possibility to listen to music, register videos and make calls with a single device is great and makes riding more comfortable. Maybe the augmented side of the product could've been pushed further, but features such as the interactive maps are a good sign that the Raptor is a good starting point for the glasses of the future. Besides the few negatives, like the price and the design, the glasses present a great deal of recent technology to enhance the user experience. Maybe in a few years we'll see more commercial products like this one, that improve its weak points and offer a more competitive price point.

Link to the official website:
everysight

Links to the reviews:
cxmagazine
gearjunkie
bikeradar

The thumbnail was taken from: Thumb
Raptor image
Cyclist under Technical Specifications Inside of glasses HUD image 1
HUD image 2

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