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Idea for invention(19 posts)

Idea for inventionDog
Sep 25, 2001 2:40 PM
Thought of this on my long ride Saturday, along lots of 2 lane, somewhat busy roads.

Mirrors just don't seem to work for me (not wanting to debate that again now), but it would be nice to be able to see behind. The greatest advantage is that it would allow us to ride in that smooth, smushed down path of asphalt that's glassy smooth, yet still get over to avoid being run over.

So, what if we had a tiny video camera attached to the back of the seapost, about the size of a AA battery, with a tiny LCD display on the handlebars (or even better up on the aerobars if using them)? The gizmo could have variable zoom and brightness. Hey, busses have them. Other than adding a few ounces, can't see a downside.

Whaddya think? (remember, heard it hear first).

Doug
re: Idea for inventionnee Spoke Wrench
Sep 25, 2001 2:47 PM
Do you just screen what the camera sees or do you reverse it electronically to be a "mirror image."

I think it's a cool idea, but I'm afraid it would cost more than $34.99 and consequently not sell very well.
refinementsDog
Sep 25, 2001 2:54 PM
I think it would be easy to make it so that it can electronically reverse or rotate the image.

Sure, it would be costly. Figure the parts of a video camera without all the mechanicals for the tape, maybe.

People spend $159 for helmets when a $39 helmet might work fine (arguably). Plus, tell people its either for safety or strategic advantage (could see someone starting to pass in a race), and it would likely sell. Anyone want to buy stock in my company? :-) (Legal Disclosure: This is not an offer to buy securities, bla, bla, bla...)

Doug
re: Idea for invention - My 1 centShad
Sep 25, 2001 3:02 PM
Dog, I think, much like myself, you have purchased every available cycling product and have decided to invent new things so you can purchase more. Actually sounds cool to me, but it would need a kill switch to eliminate the view of some dude's sweaty shorts and package behind you in a paceline. Or perhaps a little joystick to control camera angle? Of course, I might do a "Jack Tripper riding on the beach" with something like that!

Shad from MN
re: Idea for inventiongrzy
Sep 25, 2001 3:16 PM
Better yet make it wireless and use a Palm Pilot for the screen device.

I just wonder about the power requirements for such a device.

Still think that the low-tech helmet mirror rules.
re: Idea for inventionCliff Oates
Sep 25, 2001 3:21 PM
The LCD is going to get washed out in sunlight. They also suck prodigious amounts of juice as any digital camera owner knows. Resolution on a helmet cam is likely to be fairly poor, as is the display resolution on the LCD.

What might be more useful is a sensor that lets you know if you are being overtaken by something with a significant speed differential - say 5-10 mph. Then you can just look over your shoulder to see what it is.
re: Better output devicesvmj
Sep 25, 2001 4:07 PM
would be a modified version of these: http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/products/av/glasstron/ . Ideally completely see-thru with a screen only on one side.

--
vmj
Also:vmj
Sep 25, 2001 4:12 PM
the virtual retinal display technology seems promising:

http://www.hitl.washington.edu/projects/vrd/project.html

(essentially a laser drawing the image directly on your eye)

--
vmj
Could you live with black and white?Humma Hah
Sep 25, 2001 4:23 PM
Cameras of that size are available. I've seen some on the surplus market that are well under $100 in black and white.

Screens that size are used in camera viewfinders, again, usually black and white.

I've been thinking along the lines of a small PDA on the handlebars, used as a high-feature cyclocomputer. Its screen could possibly double as a small TV.

Me, I'll stick with my Third Eye, which cost maybe $18 (and that's overpriced).
Cool, but...Rich Clark
Sep 25, 2001 4:59 PM
I can see several problems:

--Handlebar real estate shortage (I already have a light, a comp, and my HRM there).

--Got to remember to look (just like with a mirror; cars can approach awfully quickly, and looking away for just a few seconds is all it takes).

--Glare (as someone else mentioned, direct sunlight and LCDs aren't a great combo).

--Not even more batteries!

--Lo-lux problems at night.

It's a cool thought, but this is one application where simple is better for me; I'll hang onto my Take-a-Look, thanks.

RichC
good thought, but....Starliner
Sep 25, 2001 5:34 PM
I would think the size of the display screen would have to be pretty big for a rider to view it at a glance and figure out what he/she is seeing. The image would shake around like a home video shot by a drunken sailor. However, it could be a good device for helping one smooth out their riding style.
It's already invented ...bianchi boy
Sep 26, 2001 4:09 AM
An environmentally friendly device called a mirror. What's your problem with them? I put a small bar end mirror (Third Eye) on the end of my bar and it works great. Doesn't vibrate, easy to adjust, very light and nonobtrusive. I tried a helmet mirror and all it did was vibrate around, and it was so hard to see things that I was afraid I was gonna wreck trying to use it. The bar-end mirror has none of those problems. The kind I've got doesn't stick out to the side like a motorcycle mirror; it just attaches right at the end of the bar. Take a look at my bike (the Gios Compact Pro) in the photo section here -- you'll hardly even notice the mirror. (And disregard the comments from the peanut gallery, who also complain about the stem, saddle, etc.)
RadarMazz
Sep 26, 2001 5:03 AM
Ha ha. Wouldn't it be cool if you could get one of those airplane/submarine radars. The green screen with cross hairs and a bar spinning around. It could even bleep when the spinning bar senses something behind you. I bet the army already has something like that but it's top secret.
stupid ideaRusty McNasty
Sep 26, 2001 5:23 AM
A top-tube mirror will accomplish the same thing, weigh less, cost less, won't need batteries, and doesn't take up space on the bars.
I can't use a mirror (don't have a left eye) nothing wrong withMB1
Sep 26, 2001 5:52 AM
my hearing though. Still you have the germ of an idea that could have some merit.

Is sounds to me like you are looking for a low power detection/warning device for overtaking vehicles. Aural might be better than visual-that way you won't be constantly distracted looking at a small screen. You might also be in the perfect profession to write the warning label something like this would require.

My .02 worth.
Same problem....Len J
Sep 26, 2001 6:05 AM
almost. I have virtually no sight out of my left eye. It forces me to be extra cautious (mostly). I would love to find some way to see what is behind me.
Mirrors sure don't help me.

Dog: The clarity of the screen would have to be pretty terrific in order to allow for a quick view as opposed to having to stare at the screen to figure out what you are seeing.

Len
Ride a tandem, have the stoker look back. Works for me. nmMB1
Sep 26, 2001 6:08 AM
re: What if I designed a...Akirasho
Sep 26, 2001 7:11 AM
fully faired HPV racer with no natural forward visibility???

http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/coslinger/coslinger_special.htm

I thought many of us were looking for the relative simplicity and serenity of cycling? The above link, of course, is a special situation.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: Idea for inventionDINOSAUR
Sep 26, 2001 8:24 AM
Along with all the other mentioned flaws, the vibration from the road would render the camera virtually useless. However-who knows what lurks in the future? Who would have thought that brake/shift levers would ever work? Now I'm thinking more computerized stuff that eliminates the use of cables. Just when you think a bike is perfect, they come along with something else. People probably thought that Thomas Edison was out of his mind, but that didn't stop him.
Nothing is impossible. Take for instance this stupid computer that is smarter than me...