Garmin announces Varia Vision

Garmin joins the heads-up display race with the Varia Vision, and this CES-launched offering promises to be compatible with most sports glasses on the market.

Garmin calls the Varia Vision an in-sight display that will put data and information from various compatible devices into the line of sight for cyclists. The complete list of compatible devices has not been made public yet, but one such unit is the Varia rearview radar, a clever product that can alert a cyclist of traffic coming from behind. When connected with the Varia Vision the cyclist won’t have to look down or turn around to see who or what is coming. The Garmin 1000 and 520 are likely other candidates that will play nicely with the new in-sight display. Performance data, interval countdowns, turn-by-turn directions and smart notifications such as text messages and phone calls are other items that can be displayed in the Varia Vision. But for obvious reasons, texts and calls require the presence of a paired compatible smart phone.

“We’re extremely excited to announce the next device in our line of innovative Varia cycling awareness products – the Varia Vision in-sight display,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of worldwide sales. “Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead.”

According to Garmin the battery life is around 8 hours. The unit can be mounted to either arm of the glasses, weighs only one ounce, and is durable and waterproof.

The Varia Vision will retail for $399.99 and is promised to be available early in 2016.

Competitors in that field are the Recon Jet ($499), who started the trend, Kolpin Solos (sub $500) which looks similar to the Recon, and the lesser known Everysight (no MSRP to date) units, which all are integrated into the glasses they provide, which may be a disadvantage to some folks. The Canadian 4iiii on the other hand allows their heads-up display to be attached to any kind of glasses, but with the mini zip ties required to get it done, the 4iiii offering does not look very polished. But at $199 that might be something people are willing to accept.