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Product Research

Old 11-28-16, 03:02 PM
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MalBurke
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Product Research

Hi guys, first post here.

I'm looking to launch a product onto the market, and I'm trying to grasp whether it will generate sufficient demand. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

The product is a rear view camera which will attach to the back of the seat, which will link to a screen attached to your handlebars. The camera will have a wide lens in order to obtain a wide view of your behind and feed directly to the screen in front of you, and of course record the footage should you need it at a later date.

The objective here is to prevent loss of balance or swerving when looking behind. It will also allow you to take a longer / more regular looks to better grasp what's behind you. It will also allow people who are unable to easily look behind due to medical issues ride safely. Finally, it will be at optimal height for catching important details, such as number plates if you are involved in an accident with a car which has passed you at any point.

I know that there are similar products out there, e.g. rear view mirrors, rear view head cams, even a digital screen but, as far as I have been able to tell, there is nothing which combines these features.

My main queries are as follows:

Would you buy the product detailed above?

How much would you pay?

From which feature is the value derived?

Is quality, i.e. camera display, more important than price? If so, to what extent?

What do you think this product is better suited for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?

What do you cycle for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?

Do you think that this is better suited for rural or urban areas?

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view bike mirror?

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view camera?

If yes to either of the above, would you still consider their use necessary if you owned this product?

If yes to either of the above, how often do you replace them, or upgraded to a new model? What was the reason for this change?

Would you use this for day time or night time riding?

If you don't mind sharing, could you please also state your age, gender and where you cycle?


Thank you all very much for taking the time to read up to here, any replies will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or would like to chat about the above, I would welcome anybody to send me a message.

Kind Regards.
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Old 11-28-16, 03:57 PM
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You would probably do better to eliminate the display. If I'm riding in bad enough traffic that I want to pay for something to improve my odds, then I want to focus on my surroundings and not on a screen. And it sounds like the system you've invented would require me to keep the camera charged, and the display too. Two more things to keep charged is a harder pill to swallow than one more.

You could use ANT+ and/or Bluetooth to display things on the screens most of us already carry. On that note, sometimes less is more. Look at Garmin's Varia Radar system, it's implemented very well. It doesn't tell you whether it's a red Buick or a green Subaru behind you, just a car moving your direction.

What is your battery life like, and how long can the system record?

How much does it weigh? How does it attach to the bike? What impact does it have on the aerodynamics of the bike? Is there a quick release system for people who ride to work then leave their bike locked outside?
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Old 11-28-16, 04:34 PM
  #3  
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Would you buy the product detailed above?
Possibly
How much would you pay?
Less than $200?

From which feature is the value derived?
Wide rear view without effort

Is quality, i.e. camera display, more important than price? If so, to what extent?
For me, no

What do you think this product is better suited for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
Commuting

What do you cycle for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
Commuting, exercise

Do you think that this is better suited for rural or urban areas?
Rural, suburban

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view bike mirror?

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view camera?
Mirror, yes - camera in the car

If yes to either of the above, would you still consider their use necessary if you owned this product?

If yes to either of the above, how often do you replace them, or upgraded to a new model? What was the reason for this change?
Necessary, yes. I was taken out by a truck while commuting, didn't see it coming. Infrequent replacement

Would you use this for day time or night time riding?
Both, but daytime hazard warning is primarily important

If you don't mind sharing, could you please also state your age, gender and where you cycle?
Male, 56, suburban work commute - still recovering from 'critical' crash almost 6 months ago.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:22 PM
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A rear facing camera is not going to catch license plates in the states which do not have front plates.


Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
You would probably do better to eliminate the display. If I'm riding in bad enough traffic that I want to pay for something to improve my odds, then I want to focus on my surroundings and not on a screen.
This is the bottom line for me. I don't need to be looking at a screen. Let motorists drive distracted while I pay attention to the road.

Most experienced cyclists can tell that a car is approaching with their ears.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:53 PM
  #5  
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You mean like this one . . . rearview camera.jpg
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Old 11-28-16, 11:35 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
The product is a rear view camera which will attach to the back of the seat, which will link to a screen attached to your handlebars.
Ion cameras can already do this, via their WiFi PODZ rear cap, or wired HDMI.

...and of course record the footage should you need it at a later date.
First off, the main features I'd want, over existing cameras, including the Ions:
  • On-the-fly markers. I want to be able to tap one button and tell the camera to mark a segment anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes just before I tapped the marker button, and a few seconds to a few minutes after tapping the marker button. This would save a tremendous amount of time in editing later.
  • The window buffer should be adjustable, preferably before each ride. It could be adjustable in firmware, but would be better to control via the cockpit display.
  • Smart recycling. If the media card is filled there should be an option to record over the existing footage *with the exception of the segments marked* as described above.
  • Crash detection, to record continuously when a crash or accident is detected, and to not record over itself. This could be essential if the cyclist is unconscious or distracted by an emergency. At a minimum it should be able to record audio after crash/accident detection. Automatically sending out an emergency call or signal would be a plus.
  • Reliability. Much as I like the Ion Speed Pro as a good value it's not 100% reliable. It tends to cut out after 20-30 seconds when restarted. When helmet mounted I've missed recording segments on some rides, because the vibration alert is easy to miss on a helmet mounted camera, and I can't see the red/record and green/pause lights. So when I restart the Ion Speed Pro I have to check it again after a minute to be sure it's still recording. Usually this means taking off my helmet to check the red/record light. PITA.
  • Smart object detection for cars, faces and proximity, with automatic generation of relevant tags or keywords. This would help prioritize segments for editing.
  • Weather/shock resistant without needing an optional housing.
  • Discretely shaped. The GoPro design is awful. The cylindrical barrel shaped Ion, Contour, some Sonys and similar cameras are much better designs for cyclists, especially for helmet mounting as low as possible on the helmet, rather than extending atop the noggin like a TV set.
  • High enough resolution with faster framerates (60 fps) and low enough noise, including at night under reasonable lighting, to record American license plates. With existing cameras at night fine detail tends to be obscured by poor dynamic range, high noise (or excessive noise reduction smoothing) and motion blur from slower shutter speeds.
  • A focal length/angle of view suitable for documenting traffic. The near-fisheye angle of view and mediocre real resolution of the Ion Speed Pro makes it difficult to record US license plates at the edge of the screen. A moderate wide angle is better suited to traffic cams.

Some cameras include some of these features. None, to my knowledge, includes all of these features. Most of these video cameras are either action cams or traffic cams, but lacking certain crossover features from each genre.

These will not be cheap. But I don't see any need for another sub-$200 action/documentation video camera unless it's specifically geared toward the unique needs of a bicyclist.

***

My main queries are as follows:

Would you buy the product detailed above?
Only with the features I've described above.

How much would you pay?
To be realistic, I doubt the bicyclist market would bear more than $500 for a camera that includes all of the above features. It would need to appeal to bicyclists, motorcyclists and perhaps some specialized surveillance or tactical ops. There is room for a crossover market appeal.

What do you think this product is better suited for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
Bicycle and motorcycle commuters or anyone who rides in traffic. Possibly some surveillance uses.

What do you cycle for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
Exercise, recreation, occasional commuting.

Do you think that this is better suited for rural or urban areas?
Both, equally. Some rural areas can be as dangerous despite the lower traffic, due to the driving habits and different mindset of rural drivers. (See the news reports from November 2016 about cyclocross racer Missy Hardeman, who was struck and killed on a rural road that she used often for training.)

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view bike mirror?
I've almost always used rear view mirrors on the bike, and occasionally added a hand/wrist-mounted mirror or helmet mirror.

Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view camera?
I haven't yet added a rear view camera but have considered it over the past year. I'm planning to try my Ion Speed Pro on the rear soon.

If yes to either of the above, would you still consider their use necessary if you owned this product?
I would continue to use mirrors and probably wouldn't find a rear view camera with cockpit display in real time essential. That's why I specified the extensive features above.

If yes to either of the above, how often do you replace them, or upgraded to a new model? What was the reason for this change?
n/a. The rear view camera I might consider doesn't exist.

Would you use this for day time or night time riding?
Both. Roughly a third of my riding is at night or very early morning.

If you don't mind sharing, could you please also state your age, gender and where you cycle?
59, male, Texas Metroplex.
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Old 11-29-16, 01:44 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
Would you buy the product detailed above?
Yes.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
How much would you pay?
$100-$300. Maybe $500.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
From which feature is the value derived?
Not sure what you mean. The see-behind-you part?

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
Is quality, i.e. camera display, more important than price? If so, to what extent?
1. Display needs to be easily viewable in sunlight. I have a camera - a panasonic fz200 - that has an led display that's easily viewable in sunlight, so I know it can be done. You might consider something that communicates with a smartphone with the display as an option add-on. People might buy the rearview camera, then realize the display is worth the money and upgrade.

2. Something that records video and saves the last 2 minutes or whatever when the bike suddenly stops (or crashes) is another feature I'd be looking for.

3. I'm not sure if everyone would, but I'd like something fairly visible, like bright yellow. I find that the 1% of real ******* drivers are the kind of people that suddenly behave a lot better if they know they're being recorded.

4. Decent battery life, and the option to plug a usb battery into it and have it run off of it.

5. Camera that works at night would be enticing as well. My old cell cameras don't, new ones do.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
What do you think this product is better suited for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
For me it's commuting.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
What do you cycle for, e.g. racing, commuting or exercise?
Commuting and exercise.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
Do you think that this is better suited for rural or urban areas?
No difference, useful for both. Only thing it's not suited for bike trails where I don't really need to be able to see behind me.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view bike mirror?
Yes, my main complaint is that you're never how much of what's behind you you're seeing. I missed seeing an entire car in the mirror, while I didn't crash because I was being paranoid, that's why I got rid of it. It's useless to see "some" of what's behind me.

Originally Posted by MalBurke View Post
Have you used, either previously or currently a rear view camera?
No, I was going to buy the more popular sounding one but they had discontinued it. Only other option had a very glossy reflective display that had the same issues as a mirror - not sure if I'm missing seeing something.
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Old 11-29-16, 08:36 AM
  #8  
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not your customer target

since I moved away from a busy city long ago .. Over 65

and Im not that into IT. Tech widgets, computer operator jobs

and i don't own the typical target market type bike , stripped down, No seat bags , probably fixie types

single guys 30 , 40 year old max is who you want ..






Last edited by fietsbob; 11-29-16 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 11-29-16, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
A rear facing camera is not going to catch license plates in the states which do not have front plates.
Yeah, that's a real good point.

Also, a wide angle lens makes things smaller, so you need more pixels and a better quality lens, to capture enough detail to be able to read a plate, if one is there.

And cameras are devices that record light, which means they don't work very well at night. You take starry sky pictures by using a long exposure time - giving the light more time to accumulate - which isn't possible from a moving vehicle at night.
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Old 11-29-16, 11:20 AM
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Not to mention Headlights will dazzle any rear facing camera with much of a Low Light sensitivity..

So other than posting here what other research have you done ? Tested any Prototypes?
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Old 11-29-16, 12:33 PM
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Turning to look behind is a necessary skill, and I don't think a gadget to replace that skill is well conceived. I use a mirror attached to my glasses but I still turn and look back sometimes.
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Old 11-29-16, 01:44 PM
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I have tried this, rigging up an auto backup camera as my rear view and the display on the handlebar. While I did find it useful and satisfactory for seeing traffic behind me, I had a couple of issues. Primarily the image (cheap equipment) was severely washed out in the sunlight. So that's something to be cognizant of.

Secondly the wide angle makes it difficult to process on the small screen, beyond just seeing that traffic is approaching. I couldn't really tell how much space I'd have if moving left for example. I'd be very interested in the device but I'm not sure I'll cough up whatever a decent one will cost.

I believe that Garmin has had something similar on some of their units. It never took off for them, so were I you I'd look into that and try to identify what, if anything, sunk the idea.
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Old 12-06-16, 12:06 PM
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Thank you for all of your feedback, and sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I've considered all of your responses, which I will now try to elaborate on.

I'm going to start of stating that currently I have not approached anybody about a prototype or design and so I'm not sure on specs.

Would both the camera & screen need to be charged?
I was planning on having the product wireless, in which case I would imagine both would perhaps have to be charged, however, if it were to be wired this is unlikely to be the case. How important of an issue do you consider this to be?

Battery life:
Battery life would probably be pretty standard, however as somebody mentioned it may be possible to develop a USB battery which you could plug in for extra life.

How long can it record?
As long as the battery lasts. To answer somebody else's question it will have 'smart recycling' and so you won't run out of memory.

How much will it weigh?
Not currently sure on specifications, however we would look to make it as light as possible relative to other products on the market.

Removing the product:
It will be easy to add & remove in the sense that it will simply clip onto the handlebars.

Day & night recording:
The screen would be easy to see in direct sunlight & the camera will be able to pick up footage at night. In regards to dazzling as a result of headlights, at the moment I'm not sure how we would go about rectifying this but this is a good point, and it's unlikely to launch unless there is a fix for this.

Keep it coming guys, and as mentioned please feel free to message me directly.
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Old 12-06-16, 01:25 PM
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You could start with something like this Recon Jet (White), find a wireless camera to work with a smartphone driving the display, and done deal.

There are cheaper smart glasses than the jet recon, but the point being the hardware tech that you're asking design questions about is already available off the shelf. In fact, a rear-view mirror backup camera is $30 or less on Amazon. I suggest trying some out first before trying to figure out what would make it useful on a bike. You aren't going to get that by asking hypothetical questions.
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Old 12-06-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I believe that Garmin has had something similar on some of their units. It never took off for them, so were I you I'd look into that and try to identify what, if anything, sunk the idea.
Do you mean their rear-view radar?

I think it was lack of perceived need in the market that sunk it.
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Old 12-06-16, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Do you mean their rear-view radar?

I think it was lack of perceived need in the market that sunk it.
No, I'm thinking of an actual camera and display on some of the Garmin devices. It was on a GPS head unit. I think it failed for the same reason, no demand.
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Old 12-06-16, 02:55 PM
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I know they make a camera called VIRB, which Edge bike computers can sort of act as a remote control for. Some people use them to record evidence should they ever be in an accident, others use them to make footage of their rides. I've never heard of Garmin making a camera and bike display for it, for accident avoidance. (Of course I'm sure they've done many things I'm not aware of.)
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Old 12-06-16, 03:17 PM
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There is a taillight on the market with a built in camera.

I don't use a mirror. I tried a handlebar mounted mirror and used it for about 10 minutes. It just wasn't in a convenient location. So.. a bar mounted rear display would be equally inconvenient.

I've trained myself to be pretty good at looking back and tracking forward. Nothing beats a sweeping glance for eliminating "blind spots".

So.. maybe I'll consider an archival camera sometime, but it isn't a high priority.

I'd consider it for young kids... but they also need to learn to look back, signal, & etc.
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Old 12-10-16, 01:02 PM
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moved here from electronics
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