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Homemade Heads Up Display For Bicycling?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the right-in-front-of-your-eyes dept.

Displays 27

An anonymous reader asks: "I am a geek that bicycles in an urban center. After seeing this commercial product, I was interested in the possibility of building a homebrew HUD for a bicycle helmet. I searched the usual places and couldn't find much so I thought I'd ask the readers of Slashdot. A HUD that displays speed, distance, and cadence seems very feasible as many bike computers collect that data. A great longshot would be a range-finder that told you the distance to the object you were turned toward, but I'm not crossing my fingers for that. So what components would be needed to make such a cool device?"

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The Modern Liberal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9306873)

What It Means to be a Liberal.

The other day I found myself very puzzled.

I know what I believe, why I believe it, the philosophical foundations of my beliefs. I've studied everything from Karl Marx to Ludwig von Mises, from Friedrich Hayek to FDR, from Edmund Burke to Bertrand Russell, from Aristotle to Ayn Rand.

I understand modern conservative thought. I understand libertarian thought. I understand classical liberalism. What I can't begin to comprehend is modern liberalism. Maybe you can help me. As near as I can tell, to be a liberal:

You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding.

IF there is a church that is valid, it has been pre-approved by the government.

You have to be against capital punishment but for abortion on demand ... in short, you support protecting the guilty and killing the innocent.

You have to believe that the same public school idiot who can't teach 4th graders how to read is qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

You have to believe that trial lawyers are selfless heroes and doctors are overpaid.

You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons in the hands of the Red Chinese.

You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the brilliance of the Sun, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.

You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being gay is natural.

You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature but pasty, fey activists who've never been outside Seattle do.

You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

You have to believe there was no art before federal funding.

You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

You have to believe the free market that gives us 500+ channels can't deliver the quality that PBS does.

You have to believe the NRA is bad, because they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good, because they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution.

You have to believe that taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.

You have to believe that Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.

You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

You have to believe second-hand smoke is more dangerous than HIV.

You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady and Rosie O'Donnell is not really a man who is jealous of Tom Selleck.

You have to believe conservatives are racists but that black people couldn't make it without your help.

You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

Looking back on my list, it seems shallow, muddled, contradictory, divorced of logic and a bit sadistic.

Well, then. If that doesn't describe the modern liberal, I don't know what does.

Re:The Modern Liberal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9306961)

How many times are you going to post this? This is a description of a Democrat, not a Liberal- there is no such thing as a major party Liberal by the classic description in the United States.

The Modern Liberal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9306988)

What It Means to be a Liberal.

The other day I found myself very puzzled.

I know what I believe, why I believe it, the philosophical foundations of my beliefs. I've studied everything from Karl Marx to Ludwig von Mises, from Friedrich Hayek to FDR, from Edmund Burke to Bertrand Russell, from Aristotle to Ayn Rand.

I understand modern conservative thought. I understand libertarian thought. I understand classical liberalism. What I can't begin to comprehend is modern liberalism. Maybe you can help me. As near as I can tell, to be a liberal:

You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding.

IF there is a church that is valid, it has been pre-approved by the government.

You have to be against capital punishment but for abortion on demand ... in short, you support protecting the guilty and killing the innocent.

You have to believe that the same public school idiot who can't teach 4th graders how to read is qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

You have to believe that trial lawyers are selfless heroes and doctors are overpaid.

You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons in the hands of the Red Chinese.

You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the brilliance of the Sun, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.

You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being gay is natural.

You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature but pasty, fey activists who've never been outside Seattle do.

You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

You have to believe there was no art before federal funding.

You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

You have to believe the free market that gives us 500+ channels can't deliver the quality that PBS does.

You have to believe the NRA is bad, because they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good, because they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution.

You have to believe that taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.

You have to believe that Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.

You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

You have to believe second-hand smoke is more dangerous than HIV.

You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady and Rosie O'Donnell is not really a man who is jealous of Tom Selleck.

You have to believe conservatives are racists but that black people couldn't make it without your help.

You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

Looking back on my list, it seems shallow, muddled, contradictory, divorced of logic and a bit sadistic.

Well, then. If that doesn't describe the modern liberal, I don't know what does.

Re:The Modern Liberal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9307133)

It's not a description of anyone. On the other hand, to be a modern conservative, you have to believe just one thing: the world would be a better place if we only got rid of the smart people.

American conservative == anti-intellectual. Their favorite thing to do is to take a complex situation, boil it down to a 10 word sound bite, and make the wrong conclusion from it.

Example:

The fact: The causes of terrorism would take volumes to describe accurately.

The conservative boil-down: Terrorists don't like us because we are free. They hate freedom.

Wrong-headed conclusion: We've got to kill them all before they kill us.

And there you go. You don't have to read a book. No education needed (or wanted).

Here's how (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9306919)

1. Buy a car.
2. Hire a driver.
3. Place your face firmly against the plexiglass divider that shows speed, mileage, etc. [Don't lick the glass.]
4. Enjoy!

P.S. fucking dudes is the new fucking girls.

Are you nuts? (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9306955)

A great longshot would be a range-finder that told you the distance to the object you were turned toward, but I'm not crossing my fingers for that.

As an urban bicycle commuter, my suggestion is that the distance to far-off objects is probably less valuable to you than an extra fraction of a second of reaction time to a door opening in your path. If you have sufficient attention to spare to run gkrellm or SuperKaramba on your helmet, you have more than most of us.

Re:Are you nuts? (3, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9307966)

Unless the range-finder was in fact a laser targeting device picked up by the attack helicopter following you in a support role during your daily commute. This would make cycling even more fun than it already is. Safer, too. [evil laugh]

Re:Are you nuts? (1)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | more than 10 years ago | (#9308709)

Especially if you are this guy [everything2.com]

Re:Are you nuts? (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9310508)

Jesus, did ya ever think that the poster might be a responsible cycler who rides in the suburbs instead of clogging up the streets in the city.

Re:Are you nuts? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9313050)

Uh, no, because I read the first freaking sentence of his question where he says "I am a geek that bicycles in an urban center."

Re:Are you nuts? (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9311647)

Why does information such as speed, distance etc. need to be given visually? Why not create some sort of artificial speech device that translates the data into an audible signal that you then hear with a set of headphones or speaker in the helmet? Put a button or buttons on your glove or handlebar and it spits out the info for you to hear.

Of course if you do this, make sure any headphones don't interfere with hearing what's around you, such as a car horn. A quick snippet of "twenty-two k" shouldn't interfere with safety.

Xybernaut (2, Informative)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9307085)

Xybernaut [xybernaut.com] sell all sorts of wearable computer gubbins. The MIT Wearables Lab [mit.edu] is a fantastic resource for wearable computing.

Re:MIT Wearables (1)

MacBorg (740087) | more than 10 years ago | (#9320340)

I am part of the MIThril 2003 project at MIT... some of what you're looking for (i.e. proximity data) is exactly what we're working on... http://www.media.mit.edu/wearables (go to borglab Wiki)

This guy used to be famous (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9307087)

The Guy With The Bike [microship.com] did this back in the 1980s and early 1990s. I believe all of his tech is listed here. About the only thing I think you could add to his design, that has been invented since he gave up this project in favor of an ocean-going mini-trimeran, is a Laser Range Finder [nightvisionweb.com] .

Peripheral Display (3, Interesting)

FrenZon (65408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9307484)

A cheap, easy way to do it would be to go the 'ambient device' route and use a small number of coloured surface-mount LEDs (perhaps placed along the inside edges of your glasses) and train yourself to recognise what they mean when lit up in certain combinations.

It would be a bit safer than a textual display which requires you to change your eye's focal distance to read. Just make sure you don't blind yourself with it at night.

Portable lasers and bicycles (4, Insightful)

Single GNU Theory (8597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9308644)

Seeing as how you're going to have to carry this thing on your head (it'll be the stablest platform on a bike, and is aimable), you're going to be limited to something about the size of a readily-available laser pointer.

Before you spend any serious money on this, I would suggest taking a laser pointer outside to see how far away you can make out the spot. I don't think it's going to be very far at all. Maybe one of those laser tape measures would do the trick, though.

More powerful lasers, to put a bigger spot farther away, aren't going to be as portable, and will probably be a danger to pedestrians or fellow cyclists if you glance at them to say hi.

I would suggest trying to satisfy your number fetish with a top-line bicycle computer. Mine (a Specialized P-Brain) records heart rate and altitude along with speed and distance, and can download data to a Windows box for graphing (I tried the software under Wine but it didn't seem to work). Other computers use GPS to track your location, or measure the chain tension to record the smoothness of your pedal stroke. Others record your power output with a special hub.

When I ride, I never do more than glance at my computer. It's not safe when the traffic's heavy- the numbers *always* take a back seat to situational awareness. And on lonely roads, I tend to ride by my perception of my own effort. Worrying over the numbers is for later, in front of a computer looking at the graphs!

Re:Portable lasers and bicycles (2, Interesting)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9309559)

Uh, I don't know what you read into the question, but no sort of laser device is required. The best solution would be a tiny helmet-mounted LCD that could be glanced up at, or a prismatic system to overlay the display onto their view of the world. A laser or ultrasound rangefinder is useless without an optical sight, but one could easily be built into the display, in a manner similar to red-dot sights on firearms.
The idea that a hud compromises situational awareness is somewhat naive. Yes, a poorly-designed system could compromise SA, but a properly thought out HUD system will have no effect on the user's ability to control a vehicle. Frequently, HUD systems vastly improve a user's abilities - modern fighter jets are unflyable without their HUDs. People are working on wearable computers as a way of improving the user's perception, like eyetap [eyetap.org] .

Eyetap (1)

pardey (568849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9312658)

Check out the eyetap [eyetap.org] link...

"I am Steve Mann of Borg..."

Re:Portable lasers and bicycles (1)

Suburbanpride (755823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9310166)

I have a chepa bike computer, and it does everything I need it too, although I wouldn't mid one with a built in heart rate monitor. anyways the my computer has big arrows on the side that tell you if you are going above below, or at your average speed, no matter what mode its in. you can see it by just a quick glance down. Stuff like average speed and distance can be looked at when you get to your destination. I find i can keep my cadence more steady by listening to my body than by watching the number on the scren.

Resist the urge to mount stuff on your helmet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9309506)

You do not want to mount a bunch of stuff on your hemlet that can A) cause point loading on impact or B) prevent you helpment from sliding across a surface, thereby putting some serious stress on your neck.

Somebody recently mentioned a guy they know who has mounted a PVC pipe sticking straight up to the top of his hemlet as a light mounting point. Should he get in an accident with an impact on the top of his head, the coroner is going to have a great brain core sample to look at.

Re:Resist the urge to mount stuff on your helmet (2, Interesting)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9309588)

Virtually all civillian head-mounted-displays weight less than 50g, and therefore crush like a butterfly under heavy impact. I greatly doubt that a tiny LCD would compromise a helmet, and if it does, then why bother with a helmet? If it can't stand up to a tiny piece of plastic shrapnel, what chance does it stand of keeping your brains safe from hurtling steel?

Re:Resist the urge to mount stuff on your helmet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9311808)

the coroner is going to have a great brain core sample to look at.

Shudder...

Wearable Computing Mailing List (1)

gooru (592512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9310528)

I recommend joining the mailing list here [blu.org] . Search the archives. There are tons of emails that discuss building head-mounted displays (HMDs).

idea: tactile doppler radar helmet (4, Interesting)

J05H (5625) | more than 10 years ago | (#9311540)

This is my, umm, naughty dream high tech bike helmet. It doesn't exist yet. Basically this would be a fancy new-school helmet like a Giro Pneumo, with microelectronics that create a short range phased-array radar. Inside the helmet is a grid of small air bladders. As you move through the city, the radar generates a crude map which is translated as pressure around your skull. You feel a constant roll on the right side, parked cars. Behind and to the left, the moving press of a car passing. Alternately, the radar hardware could be mounted on the bike. Hand/Eye free computing (tactile) holds a lot of potential for custom uses.

On topic, I'd recommend at most getting a decent Cats Eye cyclocomputer, maybe a GPS to go with. As someone who rides almost every day, please take this advice: when riding, just ride. Like the urban rider above, that fraction of a second is all-important. Displays, gadgets, heck even waterbottles are distractions. Work on improving your hearing instead, developing your brain and senses.

Stay safe on the road,
Josh

Re:idea: tactile doppler radar helmet (1)

DennisInDallas (309656) | more than 10 years ago | (#9311755)

garmin forerunner 201/101. gps logs position every 5 secs. It displays speed and distance, no heart rate or cadence - but you know when you're working hard and when you ain't.

The deal is you don't need to look at the display at all, just wait 'till you get home and dump it onto your pc. Overlay your route over your favorite topo or street map. It makes it neat little graph with you speed displayed as either speed or pace.

As far as just getting where you're going, you're better off not knowing - think about your feet making circles, one at a time, each one rounder than the last, perfect little circles, even pressure all the way around...

I don't know about you ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 10 years ago | (#9318228)

But I cycle to specifically get away from stuff like this and get out and enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.

A handlebar-mounted cyclo-computer is fine because it's just there.

Having a HUD while cycling just seems silly to me.

Besides, when riding down a flight of stairs, I don't want anything to block my vision. =)

uh whats the point? (1)

big daddy kane (731748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9318777)

in order to get speed you need a wireless speedometer, which takes power, beyond that i dont know what you want, and if you *need* that get a handlebar mounted display whichis the best. a bike isn't a car.
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