Wednesday May 03, 2017

Fighter Pilot Augmented Reality Technology Melds with the Consumer Cycling World

Elbit Systems Ltd. normally develops technology for military applications such as drones and fighter pilot augmented reality technology. In an attempt to generate more revenue from their military technology licenses, they have spun off their AR tech to their newly created consumer company Everysight. Everysight will sell a pair of AR glasses designed for cyclists that displays information in a HUD projection overlay in plain sight of the wearer and mimics vehicle avoidance technology found in autonomous cars. Important information such as terrain changes, speed, cadence, distance, power, heart rate, on-and off-road maps are all displayed in the projection overlay. There is even the option to display notifications and text messages, take photos and videos, and share these as you travel your route.

I think this is a sound use of augmented reality technology. Professional cycling is a dangerous sport at times due to crashes, and I could envision this technology helping to keep their eyes on the road by warning them of downed riders ahead or dangerous terrain such as a sharp turn in the road. If you've ever watched sporting events such as the Tour de France, a race can go from uneventful to broken bones and shattered dreams in seconds due to something as simple as a rider misjudging a sharp curve.

Machlis said about 1/10 of Elbit’s annual revenue comes from civilian products -- mostly aviation systems -- and the company also has revamped military technology for the autonomous car industry. "We’re trying to adapt to the commercial market, and in 2016 became a strong player in the automotive market," Machlis said. "Our second area of commercial products is wearables, as seen in Everysight." The cost will be comparable to smartphones and other devices, the company said, without elaborating.