Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Raspberry Pi Headlight Projects Useful Data on the Ground

Cycling is my favorite way to get around, and in past years technology has created all kinds of devices that can help make it more convenient. There are countless smartphone apps that help people plan their route or keep track of various things when they ride. But safety is important, and anything that takes your eyes off the road can be a problem. That's why this do-it-yourself project by Matt Richardson is so cool: He used an inexpensive Raspberry Pi credit-card-sized single-board computer to create a very special kind of bike headlight that can dynamically project information on the road in front of you while still illuminating your way and making you more visible to other road users.

His prototype shows speed, but it could show almost anything that a rider might find useful: Maps, or turn-by-turn directions from a GPS program on a smartphone, or weather info, time to destination, distance traveled, proximity warnings if a car is getting too close, etc.
Check out Richardson's video for all the details:
If you want more on how and why this was built, here is the sneak peek video mentioned in the other video, it gives more details:
Granted, the concept of the dynamic headlight is not without faults and it would have to be done right to avoid being one more distraction. But if only minimalist data is projected in a sane way, I think it could be useful to some cyclists.

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