Piercing the darkness with FLIR

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Photo: Darren Haley/FLIR from Wired

An exec at thermal-imaging company Flir wants to bring night-vision technology to motorcyclists — and he’s not talking about putting on bigger headlights.

According to Wired magazine, the Flir manager says an infrared camera mounted near a fork tube could impose a display on a GPS unit’s screen. It would generally be used as a secondary visual aid, like a mirror.

The exec has ridden about 15,000 km on a BMW R1150GS with the system installed and has given copies of the product to other riders for testing.

He said the system can also be useful when oncoming traffic blinds a rider with bright headlights, since it can allow the rider to see road lines and other objects that in contrast with oncoming lights are quite dark.

A head-up display might work better, but in order to keep the cost low, the small screen display is the way to go, he told Wired. He wants to keep the cost of a motorcycle-night-vision system below $2,000 U.S.

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