NUVIZ Head-Up Display Review
Ride Informed / By Alfonse Palaima
Over the years, we’ve seen quite a few rider-focused gadgets come and go. The good ones tend to do both, first showing up in prototype form then disappearing back into R&D, and then—if they’re lucky— returning with a market-ready solution. This is one of those, coming all the way back from Finland, and it’s coming on strong. It’s called NUVIZ, and it’s here to change the way you navigate, communicate, and record your rides.
Glowing, noise-cancelling, or “visionary” versions of the motorcyclists’ helmet have all crossed our desks, but to date, the only addition worth its salt is a pair of speakers. And, sure, listening to music, my friend’s chatter, or GPS directions is nice, but that cannot be all that we can do with science. Rumor has it we can send a human to the moon…
But to actually “see” information about our ride, right before our eyes, represents heights untouched. Attempts have been made, and the automobile industry is already delivering this to masses, but motorcycle manufacturers are behind in that regard. This leaves the door open for someone else to run it into the end zone.
And unlike those that are still collecting interest and money on Kickstarter, NUVIZ elected not to rebuild the wheel, allowing the unit to be attached to nearly any full-face helmet (versus designs integrated into an entirely-new, totally-unheard-of helmet shell and manufacturer). Personal preference and affordability are two key components in picking a helmet. NUVIZ lets you decide how valuable your brain is.
What you’re looking at is a two-piece—three, if you count the active noise-canceling headset separately—helmet-mounted rider navigation system designed to keep your eyes on the road instead of hunting below your sightline for pertinent ride data.
The dash of your bike can tell you the speed you’re traveling, but it cannot tell you where you are, what the local speed limits are, where to turn next, or where the next gas station is located. Enter the NUVIZ head-up display!
My polarized sunglasses often prevent me from seeing the bike’s LCD; the NUVIZ screen is bright and clear regardless of your eyewear or direction you look. With the bar-mounted remote control, you’ll thumb through five main screens: speedometer, map, rides/ navigation, phone, and music. Tap the camera icon in the lower left to key on the camera, and you be able to see right through the lens. The camera’s live-view feature is designed more for positioning the camera to the proper angle and not for watching yourself ride—at least while you ride. Tap it again to take an 8mp photo. It will automatically sync directly to your connected smartphone. Hold down the button to begin recording a high-definition video, the footage of which will be saved to the onboard micro-SD card instead of filling up your phone’s hard drive.
At $699, you’ll wonder if the NUVIZ is worth it. For build quality and ease of use, that’s a definite yes, provided you want something like this attached to your helmet. If you’re not one for talking to anyone while you ride, and you don’t mind getting lost once in a while—maybe you even prefer that—then this isn’t for you.
I can see the NUVIZ being most useful while traveling to unfamiliar places, like those with unmarked school zones, low posted speed limits, and strategically placed police cruisers. Fine tune the speed-alert feature and you’ll hear a tone to say you’re traveling 5-30 mph faster than the local limit. You might have missed the road sign, but the GPS knows what you need to know.
But if you look at what you get— group communications, navigation, music, photos and videos, and convenience—and compare that to what else is on the market that comes relatively close, which is nil, the NUVIZ is way ahead of the curve. Mount a Garmin to your bike for navigation and a SENA unit to your helmet for communication (and maybe a camera), and good luck keeping your costs under a grand. Why not get it all in one unit for less? This will no doubt change the way I ride into the future, especially on my custom Sporty—the one with no dash! AIM
Find this product review and other great articles in American Iron Magazine Issue #354!