New windshield checks email, calls and texts

New windshield checks email, calls and texts

Posted by Ben Baker on Mar 28th 2016

Electronics giant Samsung is not usually a company associated with motorcycles. That is changing A prototype “Smart Windshield” that displays email, calls and text messages was recently produced by Samsung with Italian advertising agency Leo Burnett, enduro rider and driver Edo Mossie and Italian rap performer Cane Secco.

Calling it a windshield display is a bit of misnomer. It actually projects information onto a display dash below the windshield. This display sits forward of the regular gauges and dials. The unit does have an integral windshield. Owing to the display box, the windshield is also pushed forward a bit more than a standard windshield.

Samsung is calling it a “revolution in road safety” and saying “the windshield has been transformed into a safety device.” The promo video says it’s designed to let a rider keep “both hands on the handlebar.” It says nothing about keeping both eyes on the road.

The unit can send a message to a caller or someone sending a text. It tells that person the driver is on the road. Riders can keep going or pull over to handle the message or caller.

The setup syncs to a smartphone with wifi. The unit also connects to GPS, providing a real-time display with a screen much bigger than a typical GPS unit.

The rider does have to look down, away from the road, to see what is on the display.

Slash Gear draws attention to the safety issues. “The windshield can project information like navigation as well as calls and text messages. The latter group will be somewhat contentious, with some advocating not paying attention to those at all. It's nearly impossible to convince drivers of that nugget of wisdom, however, especially the younger generation. What the Smart Windshield proposes instead is to show just enough information, like who's calling or who sent the message, for the driver to decide whether to stop for a bit and respond or not,” writes JC Torres.

“In a broader sense, such concepts point toward a (very near) future where passengers and vehicles are always in sync as they share the ride. The counterargument to this particular innovation is that it's probably safest not to check emails or texts at all, in any form, while driving—though that's probably wishful thinking these says,” states an article in AdWeek magazine.

This is not the first time Samsung has dipped into the world of travel. The Safety Truck projects the road in front of the cab onto the back of the trailer. Drivers behind the big rig can see oncoming traffic.

Samsung also tried a “smart bike” bicycle. The idea behind this is to make riding a bicycle in the city safer.

This may be a first in motorcycles, but it will not be the last. The tech is coming. It’s already here in many cages. But as riders know, it’s dangerous out there. The tech is, supposedly, trying to make the roads safer. As Torres writes, “Of course, it doesn't really answer the question of whether you should be looking at anything else in the first place.”

See the “Smart Windshield” in action in this video. It’s mounted to a Yamaha Tricity 125 scooter.