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Why is it so Difficult to Produce a Decent Rear View Streaming Camera/Screen?

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Why is it so Difficult to Produce a Decent Rear View Streaming Camera/Screen?

Old 08-01-20, 03:42 PM
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scrapser
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Why is it so Difficult to Produce a Decent Rear View Streaming Camera/Screen?

Garmin has GPS navigation screens that beat smart phone screens in sunlight hands down. There are dozens of companies making micro/mini video cameras. Long lasting, high capacity batteries are now a regular market item. What is it that makes it so difficult to produce a rear facing camera tied to a smart phone size screen so riders can see what's going on behind them and even record it? I followed the promising attempt to produce the Cerevellum a few years back. I'm still waiting for something to arrive. There's a new helmet coming out by Briko but even that will only send the image to a smart phone which is useless in sunlight (so why bother?). If anyone reads this and has news of something being developed, please leave a note if you can.

I have a Longbikes Slipstream recumbent and it's impossible to turn and look over the shoulder like I can on a diamond frame bike. So this is something I feel strongly about. I know about the Garmin 530/830/1030 combined with a Varia but I think having visual information that is real time is the best solution.

Thanks
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Old 08-01-20, 04:06 PM
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The Garmins are too underpowered to do it.

Video on the screens would likely look like crap.

A screen that it would look ok on wouldn't work in sunlight.

It's likely a small market that would need a relatively expensive device.

The small cameras don't have long enough runtimes (last time I looked).

=======================

You can do this with a small video camera and a smartphone. You could also plug them into external batteries to extend the life.

But, you probably want something small, good, and cheap. There probably isn't big enough market to do it cheaply. So, you are SOL.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-01-20 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:51 PM
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Why wouldn't a bar-end mirror work on the Longbikes Slipstream? Doesn't need to be charged up, runs forever, no need to remember to turn it on or off, no Bluetooth/ANT+ connectivity issues to cause glitches. OK, it may not work as well at night, but you'd still see headlights in the mirror.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:06 PM
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A better solution would be a heads up display, an updated version of Google Glass.

Right now that tech isn't cost effective enough for anyone to commit resources to a niche market like cycling.

My solution is to run the best cost effective cameras I can find, front and rear, and to use mirrors. Most rides I run Drift Ghost X cameras front and rear. These came with 5-hour batteries, HD video, tough, weather resistant as-is without special housing, reliable, cost under $100 (usually closer to $60-$70 with discounts via Amazon). It appears Drift is phasing out the HD and replacing them with the Ghost X 4k with 8-hour battery -- more expensive but pretty impressive for the money.

And due to limited neck mobility from injuries I usually ride with a bar-end mirror on my road bikes and Take-A-Look helmet mirror.

Eventually a wearable heads up display and radar/proximity sensing devices will be more cost effective but we aren't there yet. Those will first be developed for larger markets -- motor vehicles, maybe motorcycles -- then trickle down to cyclists.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
My solution is to run the best cost effective cameras I can find, front and rear, and to use mirrors. Most rides I run Drift Ghost X cameras front and rear. These came with 5-hour batteries, HD video, tough, weather resistant as-is without special housing, reliable, cost under $100 (usually closer to $60-$70 with discounts via Amazon). It appears Drift is phasing out the HD and replacing them with the Ghost X 4k with 8-hour battery -- more expensive but pretty impressive for the money.
How are you watching the output from the rear camera as you ride?

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Eventually a wearable heads up display and radar/proximity sensing devices will be more cost effective but we aren't there yet. Those will first be developed for larger markets -- motor vehicles, maybe motorcycles -- then trickle down to cyclists.
Garmin's radar/proximity sensing device isn't that expensive and people seem to like it.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:46 PM
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Helmet mirrors these
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Old 08-03-20, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
How are you watching the output from the rear camera as you ride?
Nope. I use mirrors, same as when operating a motor vehicle. Road conditions and potential hazards ahead are more important than what's behind me.

I don't subscribe to the notion that we should, or even can, "bail out" if we think someone is going to hit us from behind.

I prefer to ride assertively, taking the lane where appropriate, leaving room for drivers to pass where appropriate, and operating my own vehicle or bicycle as safety as I can.

Garmin's radar/proximity sensing device isn't that expensive and people seem to like it.
Yeah, a couple of friends use it. Seems like a pointless distraction to me. It hasn't reduced the perceived hazards. They occasionally post rear videos of dangerous close passes. The main problem is they ride hugging the road edge, inviting drivers to pass unsafely.

Rear facing radar and video won't help. It'll only record the inevitable unsafe passes because they're riding timidly, or choosing to ride inherently unsafe roads. There may be some roads that simply are not suitable for cycling, at least on some days and times of day.

I try to be pragmatic about this stuff. None of it will protect us from distracted or deliberately murderous drivers. I've told family and friends to have police check my video cameras if my dead body is found along the road, so they'll have some idea how it happened.
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Old 08-03-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Nope. I use mirrors, same as when operating a motor vehicle. Road conditions and potential hazards ahead are more important than what's behind me.
The OP wants to see the live video. He (probably) knows cameras exit.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Eventually a wearable heads up display and radar/proximity sensing devices will be more cost effective but we aren't there yet. Those will first be developed for larger markets -- motor vehicles, maybe motorcycles -- then trickle down to cyclists.
Yeah, a couple of friends use it. Seems like a pointless distraction to me. It hasn't reduced the perceived hazards. They occasionally post rear videos of dangerous close passes. The main problem is they ride hugging the road edge, inviting drivers to pass unsafely.
You are arguing against yourself here.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
try to be pragmatic about this stuff. None of it will protect us from distracted or deliberately murderous drivers. I've told family and friends to have police check my video cameras if my dead body is found along the road, so they'll have some idea how it happened.
I'm not sure if this is a real risk. At "best", it's veeery exaggerated risk (like being hit by a meteor).

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I don't subscribe to the notion that we should, or even can, "bail out" if we think someone is going to hit us from behind.
If you are talking about close passes, moving to the right a little might keep you from being hit. I think part of the value is just not being surprised.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-03-20 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 08-03-20, 02:46 PM
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The Drift app can be used to view the camera through a smartphone in realtime, via the camera's built-in wifi hotspot. It will be laggy and will drain the batteries quickly for the phone and camera. An external battery, cables and secure mounts will be needed to make this work.

A more efficient rear view camera could be cobbled together from dash cams that offer good image quality and electronics in cheaper housings that weren't designed for use on bicycles or motorcycles. You could rig up your own housings, connectors and mounts.

A tablet would provide a more usable screen than any phone. You'd still need an external battery pack and some way to rig up connectors that are resistant to vibration and weather, unless you ride in conditions with predictable weather.
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Old 08-10-20, 06:56 PM
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I've had the same question and it drives me nuts...someone back in the day started a company making this exact thing with a "transflective lcd" display that was supposed to be visible in sunlight...but they sold a few then just disappeared. I own a Panasonic fz200 and it has a flip-out lcd that stays visible in sunlight (unlike my phone) so I feel like the tech exists and has been manufactured.

Found this manufacturer in a google search and they have a youtube video demoing a transreflective lcd:
https://www.crystalfontz.com/blog/wh...ight-readable/

But yeah...I'm not sure why no one seems to sell one, maybe it was one of those things that it was to expensive in small quantities - a sort of chicken and the egg thing where people don't buy a bunch of them because they're to expensive, but you can't bring the cost down until you have a large market for them.
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Old 08-10-20, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post

Found this manufacturer in a google search and they have a youtube video demoing a transreflective lcd:
https://www.crystalfontz.com/blog/wh...ight-readable/
Garmin uses transreflective screens and has for years.

They work fine for what they are supposed used for but they are a compromise.

Video would look terrible on them.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Garmin uses transreflective screens and has for years. They work fine for what they are supposed used for but they are a compromise. Video would look terrible on them.
Last time I used the screen on my fz200 video, panning through the screen, etc looked fine...not sure why video would look worse.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Last time I used the screen on my fz200 video, panning through the screen, etc looked fine...not sure why video would look worse.
I’m not familiar with that specific device. Typically, your eye would be quite close to the screen. And you might not have been running for hours. It’s not clear that it had a transreflective screen.

Video on the Garmin transreflective screens would not look so great. The Garmins might possibly be the most common transreflective screens.

What the OP is looking for doesn’t appear to be available for people purchase.

That could be because:

* the technology doesn’t exist (for a reasonable cost).

* or no company sees a market big enough to pursue.

* or it’s some sort of vast conspiracy.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-10-20 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 08-11-20, 12:13 PM
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Seems like someone could rig up a rearview camera using a Raspberry Pi or Arduino kit.
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Old 08-11-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Seems like someone could rig up a rearview camera using a Raspberry Pi or Arduino kit.
1- Raspberry Pi or Arduino kit
2- ???
3- Profit!
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Old 08-11-20, 05:51 PM
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I don't want to spend time on a contentious debate - I do know that I've seen at least one screen in real life that showed video well, was bright and viewable in sunlight, and would work well for a rearview screen on a bike. It's definitely possible and not a technology problem.
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Old 08-11-20, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
It's definitely possible and not a technology problem.
The screen is one piece. Also, there could problems with the cost and a limited market. To replace a $20 mirror.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-11-20 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 08-13-20, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I don't subscribe to the notion that we should, or even can, "bail out" if we think someone is going to hit us from behind.
I've done that once, leaping off the bike because of an overtaking driver behind, but I don't know whether it was needed(because I was hitting the ground and lost track of the motor vehicle). Both my body and my bicycle ended up being pulled off the road, and I was injured.

Twice I've swerved and avoided overtaking drivers from behind merging into a right turn lane and crossing into my lane and me while I was in the bike lane parallel to their vehicle. Both of those are on video, and they (probably) would've been lethal. One of those was a bus.

It can happen, but I can't say if it "should" be attempted.
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