GPS gadgets are probably more useful to a motorcyclist than to anyone else, as it’s not easy to whip out a map while heading down the highway or backwoods trail at top speed on your bike. However, the devices have one problem — take your eyes off the road for even a split second and you can end up in a world of hurt.
GPS maker TomTom and Swiss smart phone software developer Route 66 have teamed up to develop a potential solution with the Route 66 Maps + Navigation app for Android-based smart phones.
The app not only displays GPS information using Tom Tom mapping software for directionally-challenged riders, but with its Follow Me augmented reality feature it can also provide a heads-up display on the screen, via the phone’s camera.
Follow Me adds a virtual vehicle to the camera’s live video image and uses its turn signals to tell you when to turn, just like following a real car. Despite not being marketed as such, the supposed advantage for riders is that they can use their smart phones as HUDs, thus reducing the risk of having to take their eyes off the road, though they’ll have to mount the phone high enough for the camera to get a clear view ahead, and then worry about its weather resistance.
We’re hoping that additional virtual vehicles will soon be available, like maybe Hailwood’s RC166 six-cylinder Honda with Mike the Bike leading the way.
Pricing and availability haven’t been announced yet, but you can see a video demonstration and get more info here.