Smart Mirrors- Looking forward at rear vision | News
Are these smart mirrors taking the rise of intelligent inanimate objects too far?
Smart phones, smart watches and smart TVs are now a widely accepted way of life for many people and, if young Polish inventor Bartosz Ambrożkiewicz has his way, smart mirrors will soon become a normal part of many motorcyclists lives, too.
While automotive electronics guru Bosch has already developed a smart motorcycle mirror of sorts, one that will alert riders to vehicles or objects in their blind spots, Ambrożkiewicz’s invention sees the smarts applied in a physical sense and which has the mirrors, er, mirroring riders’ movements.
Called Zercado Mirrors, the invention occurred as a result of Ambrożkiewicz suffering a motorcycle accident which he says could have been avoided if his mirrors were properly adjusted. And while many may argue the notion of improving your rear-vision could ultimately reduces the amount of time spent looking where you’re going, if the invention is accepted in the marketplace as well as it has been in various technology and design shows, the intelligent mirrors will be the next big thing. Ambrożkiewicz and his team have already picked up gold medals during last year’s Inventions Geneva, the Belgian International Trade Fair and the 2014 International Warsaw Invention Show as well as claiming this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup and the Swiss Automobile Club Prize.
How it started
After witnessing poor rear vision and reduced spacial awareness when riders leaned forward as speeds increased, Ambrożkiewicz wanted to find a way to create self-adjusting mirrors that would respond to a rider’s body movements. Like most prototypes, the Zercado Mirrors began life as a gaudy mishmash of wires, cardboard, bright-coloured plastic and sticky tape in a bid to test the idea’s worth — which was successful.
How they work
The idea itself is a rather simple one; by connecting to your smartphone’s gyroscope via bluetooth — if you don’t have a smartphone Zercado will supply you with a dedicated sensor — the convex mirrors (which already reduce blond spots) will respond and adjust to your movements. Either independently when cornering, or in tandem when more upright, both mirrors will self adjust. The system is designed so that you store your phone (or the sensors) in the front pocket of your jacket.
While the company waits for patents before it launches its $100K campaign on Kickstarter, the product has evolved considerably from its initial design. As well as two small electric motors which adjust the glass, the mirrors also now include the option of an in-built ‘smart’ indicator. From what we can tell, smart refers to the fact the indicator moves in a line towards the direction the rider is turning. Right now, the firm says the mirrors will fit every bike except cruisers and MV Agustas.
By Kellie Buckley