Thursday, August 20, 2015

4 wearable gadgets for motorcyclists

Yesterday I met up with the guys from Nexgear at Garage52. They wanted to come and chat and show us some prototypes and plans for some new wearable gadgets they were developing for fellow adventure nerds. When asked about who Nexgear is in their own words "We are a bunch of travel, adventure & photography enthusiasts who happen to be engineers & designers.  We are a young company based in Mumbai focused on developing seamless wearable devices, with a vision to change the way people capture their adventures. Our first gadget is for travellers and adventurers and is scheduled for release in 2015. Our products are targeted to compete in global markets and to challenge the giants in the exciting space of wearables." They have some great ideas and I cant wait for their working prototypes to be out so we can take one into the mountains and have some fun with it.

So while checking out their website today we came across this post on their blog on wearable gadgets for motorcyclists which we thought everyone should read. So with their permission we are republishing it on the blog.

“When I started riding, I started like everyone else, in shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops that threatened to fall off my foot every time I put the brakes. But over time, I researched and got myself the right gear — armored jackets, riding boots and protective gloves and not to mention some insanely expensive riding pants. So when a friend pointed me in the direction of wearables, I was a little dismissive. “When you ride, you need some serious protective gear and not some sensors which give you heart rate and burnt calories.” I told him.

He urged me to explore some stuff nonetheless and I must admit there were some really useful and intelligent gadgets waiting to be discovered by riders! I know there are hardcore riders who don’t like technology to interfere in their motorcycling experience but if you are the one who enjoys using gadgets during a ride than you are at the right place. I found a wide array of products dedicated towards making motorcycling better, safer, and easier. When I came across the Beartek Gloves, in particular, I was reminded of one of my overnight rides from Mumbai to Goa. The freezing cold November night tends to have a soporific effect. Your eyes feel heavy and the wind hits you, making you a little numb. I tend to avoid listening to hard rock when I ride as it cuts you off from the surrounding traffic. But at that time, it was either listen to aggressive sound of drums and metal or fall asleep on the bike. The problem was that I was already wearing layers of clothes, and my big screen phone wouldn’t fit into the designated jacket pocket. It was not the discomfort of constantly wiggling around to get the wires straight that bothered me, but it was the fact that I was seriously distracted throughout, trying to control the music and my bike at the same time. So when I read about the Beartek Gloves, I knew I had to have them.

Among all the cool stuff that I found, here’s my list of the top 4. This stuff would have just slipped under my radar, unless I wouldn’t have dug deep into wearables. None of the typical motorcycling forums or marketplaces seem to cover these gadgets on a regular basis. But honestly, they’re totally worth checking out. Some of them are quite affordable, and are even available on Amazon!”

Skully: Hands down, my next ‘Biking thing I absolutely got to have’ product. Skully is this really cool helmet that features a bunch of stuff that allows you almost unreal perception of everything around you. I mean everything. 360 degrees! You can pretty much know what’s happening behind your back, without even lifting your eyes from the road. Imagine receiving video input on the inside of your visor. It will show you a 180 degree view of what’s behind you. What’s more, you can integrate your phone’s GPS with the helmet, and the helmet will inform you (with visuals) of the route. All this without moving a muscle! The only downside to the Skully, is that you’ll probably have to save up to buy it, but heck, it’s worth it right? (Pre-Order)

Beartek GlovesBeartek’s tagline is ‘Every other glove is obsolete’ and looking at them, I must agree. Beartek gloves have the capability to use Bluetooth to sync to your phone, or Wifi to sync to your GoPro Action Sports Camera. Once synced, you don’t need to take your hand off the handlebars to control your gadgets. Just a touch will do! For example, touching your thumb to your index finger will turn on your camera… and so on. The best part — at 250$, these gloves are pretty affordably priced when you consider the insane technology they contain. (Amazon)

Dash Ear PhonesThis one is for all of us who listen to music on our rides, and let’s face it, most of us do. What I love about the Dash earphones aren’t just the facts that they’re bluetooth enabled (so no wires) and that they can store songs as well, but that they come in this tiny case that’s also a charger! How super-cool is that? You can charge them upto 5 times, if you’ve pre-charged the case. Now that’s truly thoughtful. (Pre-Order)

Narrative ClipThis one’s perfect for those of you who are riding to Ladakh this season. The Narrative Clip camera (there’s a Narrative Clip 2 releasing in September 2015) is the perfect wearable camera. Just slip it onto your collar, or somewhere across your chest, and get a record of everything that you’re seeing. With a battery life of 2 days, all you have to is wear it. It takes two pictures automatically every minute — giving you the perfect bank of images of the day — without any effort. Just imagine the number of memories you can capture on a long ride! In addition, you can simply double tap it to take additional pictures, making it perfect for those on-bike pictures. (PreOrder)

These are my picks for the coolest wearable riding gadgets ever. And I’d like to sign-off by describing my dream wearable.

I’ve always been asked by people, “Why do you ride?” And there has been no way for me to explain what it feels like to ride through breathtaking landscapes, or to corner a sharp turn with perfect grace. I’ve always wanted to record the moment…in first person. What would be really cool is if someone could come up with a non-intrusive gadget that could record my point of view video footage during my rides. I know the GoPro has dibs on this one, but frankly, I don’t like the helmet mount, and I find them annoying to control. When I was doing this research, I came across the epiphany eyeglass — which promised to do everything I need for this — but they aren’t available any more.

Does anyone know of a wearable like this? Would you let me know?
By Meera Rajendran for Nexager

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The ZMR Wanderers 8th Ride

For the 8th ride we decided it was time to hit the brilliant state of Himachal.  We rode out of Chandigarh and past Shimla to see what awesome spots we could find in the two days we had on the road. Read about the whole ride in the next issue of Autocar India on stands soon.

Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers is an ongoing monthly online contest hosted on Autocar India and Hero MotoCorp’s Facebook page. All participants are asked to answer some very simple questions, and at the end of the contest every month, three winners are chosen.