BMW Motorrad introduced the BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses during the BMW Days in Berlin 2023. These smart glasses serve as a head-up display (HUD) system for motorcycles. Unlike previous attempts by Dvision or Shoei, BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to present such a system.
Key features of the BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses:
- Works with all BMW connectivity models with TFT displays
- Can be connected to the motorcycle via Bluetooth and the smartphone app
- The display can be configured with the desired riding data using the multi-controller on the left-hand end of the handlebar.
- Can display a variety of information, including arrow navigation or street names, speed, gear indicator, and current speed limit
- Lithium-ion battery should ensure a running time of up to 10 hours
- Available in the colour anthracite and can be fitted with clear or tinted lenses
- Can also be fitted with an RX adapter for people who wear glasses
Here are some additional details about the key features:
- The glasses are designed to work with all BMW motorcycles with a TFT display. This includes many models, from the entry-level G310R to the high-end R1250GS.
- The glasses connect to the motorcycle via Bluetooth and the BMW Motorrad Connected app. This allows the rider to view various information on the glasses, such as navigation instructions, speed, and gear indicators.
- The display on the glasses is projected onto the wearer’s eye using a micro-OLED display. This ensures that the information is always visible, even in bright sunlight.
- A lithium-ion battery powers the glasses for up to 10 hours of use.
- The glasses are available in the colour anthracite and can be fitted with clear or tinted lenses. They can also be fitted with an RX adapter for people who wear glasses.
The Connected Ride Smartglasses from BMW cater to people who wear glasses, and owning a BMW motorcycle is not a requirement to use them. The glasses come with clear lenses with 85 percent transparency and also include tinted lenses. BMW offers an RX adapter that can be ground to up to 4.5 dioptres plus or minus, which can be clipped into the glasses.
To ensure that the display sits correctly in front of the wearer’s eye, the glasses are adjustable using nose pads of different sizes. The glasses must be connected to a smartphone app and the motorcycle via Bluetooth, which is possible with all BMW connectivity models with TFT displays.
The display can show various riding data, including arrow navigation or street names, speed, gear indicator, and current speed limit. The smart glasses are powered by a lithium-ion battery with a runtime of up to 10 hours.
The BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses will be available for purchase starting August 2023, with a price tag of 690 euros. Additional costs for eyesight requirements may apply. Currently, BMW offers smart glasses only in the colour anthracite.
Pros of the BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses:
- Safety: The head-up display provides important riding information directly in the rider’s line of sight, reducing the need to look away from the road. This enhances safety by allowing riders to focus on the traffic ahead.
- Convenience: The smart glasses eliminate the need for riders to check their instrument panel or navigation system constantly. The essential information, such as speed, navigation instructions, and gear indicator, is conveniently displayed on the glasses.
- Customizability: The display can be configured using the multi-controller on the handlebar, allowing riders to choose the specific information they want to see. This customization ensures that riders receive relevant data based on their preferences.
- Compatibility: The smart glasses are designed to work with BMW motorcycles equipped with TFT displays and can be connected to a smartphone app. This compatibility ensures seamless integration with the motorcycle’s existing technology.
- Prescription Lens Option: BMW offers an RX adapter that allows riders who wear glasses to use the smart glasses. The adapter can be customized with the required prescription, making the device accessible to a wider range of riders.
Cons of the BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses:
- Price: The smart glasses come with a price tag of 690 euros, which can be considered relatively expensive for an accessory. This cost may be a deterrent for some riders, especially considering the additional expenses that may be incurred for prescription lenses.
- Limited Availability: At the time of introduction, BMW offered smart glasses only in the colour anthracite. This limited availability may not cater to the aesthetic preferences of all riders.
- Dependency on Technology: The smart glasses rely on Bluetooth connectivity and the smartphone app for functionality. Any technical issues with the connection or app can impact the device’s usability, leading to inconvenience for the rider.
- Battery Life: While lithium-ion offers a runtime of up to 10 hours, long rides or forgetting to charge the glasses may result in a dead battery. Riders must ensure the glasses are adequately charged before embarking on longer journeys.
- Learning Curve: Riders may need some time to adjust to the display in front of their eye and get accustomed to glancing at the information on the smart glasses instead of traditional instrument panels. This adjustment period might vary for different individuals.
The BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses offer a head-up display (HUD) system for motorcycle riders, providing essential riding information in their line of sight. These smart glasses enhance safety by reducing the need to divert attention from the road. They offer convenience and customization options, allowing riders to choose the specific information they want to see on the display.
The compatibility with BMW motorcycles and the option for prescription lenses make smart glasses accessible to a wide range of riders. However, the relatively high price and limited colour availability may be potential drawbacks for some potential users. Additionally, there is a dependency on technology, as the glasses rely on Bluetooth connectivity and the smartphone app for functionality.
Overall, the BMW Connected Ride Smartglasses represent an innovative solution for motorcycle riders seeking a more convenient and safer way to access important information. While they have pros and cons, individual preferences and needs will ultimately determine their value and usefulness to riders.