Instead of using Bluetooth to connect, it uses a data connection to a Discord app server.
While EyeRide promises virtually unlimited group chats with others on the same network including non-riders, it relies on an internet connection and will use up your phone data.
Eyeride HUD screen
Otherwise, EyeRide is like a standard Bluetooth intercom that supplies music, phone calls and GPS navigation prompts using Garmin HERE maps, but also has a small HUD screen for important information as in this video.
It is slightly transparent and on the right side, which may be fine in a country where you drive on the right.
We are not sure yet if it can be moved to the left for riding in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and other left-side countries as they haven’t released all the details yet.
The company plans to launch a Kickstarter shortly to get the product off the ground. (We will update with the link when it starts.)
We advise to be cautious of supporting Kickstarter programs as you may not get your money back if they don’t go ahead.
Given EyeLights already produce a car HUD system, they may be a little more secure than a normal speculative start-up.
I haven’t used a HUD system yet in a helmet and can’t verify if it is a distraction or allows you to safely keep your eyes on the road.
However, I have driven several cars with HUD systems on the windscreen and found them extremely useful, safe and non-distracting.
Unfortunately, few of these aftermarket HUD systems or integrated HUD helmets have made it to market.
Infamously, Skully HUD helmets raised a record amount through crowd-funding then fraudulently spent it on fast cars and fast women and went bankrupt.
As much as we like the idea of wire-free vibration technology to introduce sound into a helmet, we just don’t think it works very well in the Domio Moto or Headwave Tag bluetooth units.
Both stick to the outside of your helmet and pump the sound into your helmet via vibrations. At $A264, the Domio Moto is cheaper than the Headwave Tag ($A329).
Our 2016 review of the Headwave system found it was too quiet, had poor sound quality, there was no stereo effect and the sound was drowned out by wind noise at anything over about 60-70km/h.
In June we published an article about Domio launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for their similar unit.
Not only did we express some concern about the sound quality based on our Headwave experience, but also the complaints about delivery from annoyed customers.
TheCanadian company contacted us and said they had since updated the product, production had started and they were satisfying orders.
They also offered us one for review, but it has taken about five months to arrive.
Domio Moto review
Let’s start with the positives.
The advantages are that you have no messy wires and there are no speakers uncomfortably pressing against your ears.
Sadly, the Domio Moto audio system isn’t any better than the Headwave system.
Sound quality is dull and mono only, there is little bass, and the sound is drowned out by wind noise at speeds over 60km/h on a bike without a windscreen and 80km/h on bikes with screens.
I also tried them with filtered earplugs to drown out the wind noise. These are very effective with traditional Bluetooth units where the speakers are next to your ears as the filters are directional.
However, in this case, the sound is non-directional, so with the earplugs in I could hardly hear the music even at slow speeds.
Domio sits in a cradle and they provide you with two so you can swap from helmet to helmet, while the Headwave unit sticks directly to the helmet, so it will only go on one helmet.
After my Headwave review, the makers accused me of not sticking it on properly, yet I had followed all their instructions.
Again, I followed the instructions this time to the letter: I found a smooth surface on the helmet with no joins or vents; I cleaned it carefully; and I firmly stuck it on with the supplied cradle.
Since it comes with two cradle fittings, I was able to trial it on two full-face helmets.
You can stick it anywhere on the helmet, they say. I tried one on the top and one on the back, but you could also put it on the side.
The poor sound results were the same for both helmets.
The legality of stick-on attachments is still up in the air. Also, there is some concern that stick-on units could cause head rotation and subsequent spinal injury in an accident. However, test results on such attachments will not be available until next year.
The Domio at least has a lower profile than the Headwave.
While both systems use vibration to send the sound into your helmet, they call them different terms.
Domio say they use “micro-vibration technology” and Headwave Tag call it “surface transduction”. It’s basically the same thing.
It’s difficult to explain, but the sound certainly surrounds your head because there is no discernible source such as from speakers next to your ears like in conventional Bluetooth helmet systems.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you put it on the back or one side.
However, it does not have any spatial or stereo effect because it’s coming from one source which is transmitted throughout the helmet via vibration.
The simple controls only allow switching on/off, pause/play and volume up/down. To select, advance or replay tracks, you would need your music source or phone within reach on the handlebars.
Like the Headwave Tag, the Domio Moto doesn’t have a microphone, so it is speakers only. That limits its use to listening to music and satnav instructions.
However, Domio Moto Pro ($A338), scheduled to ship in January, includes a wireless, noise-canceling “air mic” that, like the sound unit, sticks to the outside of the helmet. It uses “beamforming” technology which is a process that focusses a WiFi signal.
While traditional bluetooth systems have lots of messy wires and uncomfortable speakers next to your ears, sound quality is usually pretty good.
Domio and Headwave may be tidy and comfortable, with reasonable sound, but they are almost useless once over 60-80km/h, depending on whether you have a windscreen.
They believe it will be available in 2021. But just how safe is it?
How head-up display works
HUD is usually a system where a transparent periphery screen displays important information such as satnav turns and speed without the rider/driver having to look away from the road ahead at their instruments.
In some HUD systems, the display is projected on to car windscreens or helmets visors.
However, Bosch’s system uses a microelectromechanical scanner to bounce light off a holographic element built into the lens, directly on to your eye’s retina, not the glass lenses.
The glasses are completely transparent when turned off and the slim system does not need thick and bulky frames.
They are similar to expensive and heavy Google Glasses, but are flatter, lighter (only 10g) and work in all lighting conditions.
Bosch Snesortec boss Dr Stefan Finkbeiner says the display image is sharp, clear and always in focus.
“The Smartglasses Light Drive System is currently the smallest and lightest solution on the market and can convert almost any normal glasses into Smartglasses,” he says.
“With such smart glasses, users receive a lot of undisturbed navigation information and short messages. This makes driving safer and replaces the constant staring on smartphones or smartwatches.”
Safety or distraction?
While we can see the safety aspect of displaying vital information without the rider/driver taking their eyes off the road to look at their instruments, we are concerned with the application of this tech.
Bosch says their device will display information currently available on your smartphone or smartwatch.
“It is ideal for applications such as navigation, calls, wake-up calls, appointment reminders and short message services such as WhatsApp and WeChat,” Bosch says on its website.
Great! Just what we need is motorists being distracted by messages and apps.
With phone distractions considered as dangerous as drink driving, the last thing we need is for superfluous information to be available to motorists.
As usual, legislation to prevent this will be a long way behind the technology.
And how would police patrol for such tech if the glasses look like normal glasses?
Bosch will debut their Light Drive smart glass technology at the CES 2020 consumer technology expo in Las Vegas next month and hopes to have it available for manufacturers in 2021 under the product name BML500P.
A tiny little piece of plastic has just made universal-fit MotoSafe earplugs from Dutch company Alpine Hearing Protection even better.
With the new minigrip they are now just that little bit easier to pull out, extending the life of the earplugs.
We have written on many occasions about the importance of earplugs. Basically they make you more relaxed, less weary, more alert and save your hearing, all at the same time.
We’ve tried many different earplugs, including personalised moulded plugs which are very effective, but can leave you feeling disoriented like you are underwater.
MotoSafe plugs are cheaper, more convenient (no need for a fitting because they fit all ears) and more comfortable, even when riding all day with a tight helmet. Since there is no silicone in the material, they also don’t get sweaty or itchy.
Turbulence generated at high speeds can reach 103dB which is why all racers wear foam plugs to block out all sound.
The filter in MotoSafe blocks damaging high-frequency wind noise, but still allows you to hear important sounds such as sirens, horns and screeching tyres.
Meanwhile, it still allows you to hear “pleasant sounds” such as your music, phone conversation, GPS turn prompts and your bike’s exhaust note!
However, we have damaged a couple of sets in the past trying to pull them out.
They come with a small black plastic applicator which you use to push them all the way in until you hear an air seal. (Make sure to wet the plug first!)
To remove them, reverse the applicator and dig underneath the plug to break the seal, then grab the filter and gently pull them out.
The previous plug design had a short filter and you sometimes had to twist them to get them out, breaking the filter in the process!
Now the minigrip prevents that issue and makes them just that little bit better.
They come in black (Tour) which reduces noise by 27dB or red (Race) which provides 30dB of noise filtering. I use the red ones all the time; even when just heading out to the shops.
In Australia, about four million people have hearing loss. In the UK it’s 10 million and in the US, some 48 million have some form of hearing loss.
While hearing loss is a part of the natural ageing process, it is increased by prolonged exposure to excessive noise and riders are more than likely to experience greater hearing losses in their senior years.
I not only have profound hearing loss, but, like about 30% of the population, I also suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
These conditions have developed from years of motorcycle riding, as well as playing in rock bands, going to concerts and listening to loud music.
The ringing is so bad it sometimes wakes me at night.
It’s not actually motorcycle exhaust or engine noise that cause the biggest problem, but wind noise, according to the American Industrial Paramedic Services.
That’s why riders should have some form of hearing protection whenever they ride, especially on long trips. Any earplug is better than no earplugs.
How long can you ride without risk of hearing damage?
Average volume of wind noise under a helmet
Maximum time without risk of hearing damage
If you don’t think you can get hearing loss or tinnitus from riding because you wear a full-face helmet, you’re wrong.
Dutch magazine Promotor tested the noise levels in 10 different “system” (modular or flip-up) helmets at varying speeds and found some startling results.
The best result was 86dB at 50km/h which proses a risk of permanent hearing damage after just two hours of riding.
At 100km/h, the same helmet registered 100dB which is more noise than a hammer drill at 95dB.
At the other end of the spectrum the worst performing helmet registered 92dB at 50km/h which is comparable to a train speeding past.
At 100km/h it registered 106dB, which is louder than the noise of a chain saw or a disco.
While full-face helmets are quieter, they are not substantially quieter, especially if you ride with the visor open on hot summer days.
Alpine MotoSafe earplug filters reduce noise at different levels for different frequencies.
For the technically minded, the Tour plugs reduce bass sounds around 63Hz by 6.6dB and 8000Hz treble sounds by 16.12dB which is wind noise at 50km/h.
The maximum amount of protection is in the harsh and harmful midrange of 2000-4000Hz where the noise suppression is 23.8-18.5dB.
The Race plugs drop bass frequencies 15.7dB, midrange by 26.1 and treble by 19.7dB.
Reduction in noise may vary from ear to ear, depending on fit, with a variation of 2.8 to 4.4dB.
This data was tested according to European standard EN 352-2: 2002.
Instead, the Sygic add-on displays a green or red light countdown timer at each traffic light.
They claim it will encourage motorists to slow down, increasing safety at intersections, reducing CO2 emissions and improve traffic flow.
Sygic CEO Martin Strigac says their artificial intelligence add-on “will have a major impact on safety and the time of arrival”.
“The kit will be continuously upgraded with additional assistance features, including detection of speed-limit signs, lanes, and obstacles on the road, and collision detection,” he says.
“We are also exploring the idea of integrating it with rail-crossing warning systems.”
Two out of every three motorcycle accidents (66.7%) occur at intersections and motorists running red lights is one of the major causes of those crashes.
Anything that can reduce that would be welcome.
However, we are unsure if a countdown feature for a green light to turn red might actually encourage motorists to speed up to catch the light.
Also, a countdown to a red light turning green might encourage motorists to jump the lights.
We are also concerned that drivers who already don’t look for motorcyclists might be more intent on watching their satnav traffic light countdown feature than scanning the road for riders.
Technology is great when it is proven to increase safety, but the jury is still out on this, as far as we are concerned.
Meanwhile, the CES 2020 Innovation jury of 82 technology experts says the Sygic GPS Navigation’s Traffic Lights add-on “showcased innovative features that scored highly across the evaluation criteria and joins a special group of other products given this honour.”
Cambox V4 Pro is a slim action camera that fits around a helmet’s visor aperture to give a more accurate viewpoint of what you see when riding.
Unlike the many bulky helmet cameras that fit on top, below or beside the helmet, this curved unit fits close to your eyes for a more “normal” viewpoint. It will also fit any type of helmet or even a hat.
It easily fits to your helmet with a self-adhesive velcro system.
The Cambox V4 Pro is the latest development of their slimline Cambox cameras.
This new model is claimed to be up to three times lighter than most other cameras at 65g.
It should also have less wind resistance and less likelihood of damaging rotational forces on your neck in a crash.
Since it is so small, you can fit it inside the visor aperture (so long as there is room) so it does not protrude outside the helmet.