Cyclist wearing HindSight glasses

Cyclists get eyes in the back of their heads with ‘HindSight’ specs

Image credit: HindSight

An Edinburgh-based inventor has worked with an Olympian cyclist to develop a pair of sunglasses which allows the wearer to see behind them without the need to turn their head.

Olympian cyclist Callum Skinner – who claimed gold and silver medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics – helped develop the 'HindSight' glasses with physicist and inventor Alex MacDonald. The project was able to go ahead after they raised more than £100,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and claimed a series of innovation development awards last year.

The glasses allow cyclists to see forwards and backwards by shifting focus rather than physically turning their heads, which can be risky in fast-moving traffic where every second matters. A patent is pending for the technology, which employs two-part angled lenses with semi-transparent internal mirrors to expand the wearer’s range of visibility.

Skinner and MacDonald saw that there was a need to develop the glasses as existing solutions are tricky to use; can be odd-looking (for instance, a bulky bolt-on or awkward mount); or not lifestyle intuitive, discouraging habitual use. The Hindsight glasses are closer in appearance to fashion sunglasses and are ready to use straight out of the box. The pair hope that they will make amateur cycling safer while also functioning as a high-performance device for competitive runners, cyclists and rowers.

“As a passionate cyclist, I’m acutely aware of the importance of road safety,” said Skinner. “I’m also struck by the potential of HindSight glasses to help professional cyclists reach their peak performance. Managing aerodynamic profile is essential for any elite cyclist and, by turning back to look over your shoulder, you can easily lose efficiencies in your speed and performance.

“I believe HindSight glasses provide the answer to this and will change the norm as we know it.”

McDonald added: “As a regular cyclist, I was aware that knowing what was coming behind me would allow me to make smarter decisions, but I had no way to do it. HindSight glasses are designed to ensure the preservation of forward-facing vision, while adding the capacity to look behind. HindSight glasses allow peripheral vision to be maintained in the forward direction while checking behind, giving effectively the best of both worlds.”

The glasses cost from £199.99 (£174.99 with a pre-order discount).

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