That *other* rear view display for bikes

Owl 360 camera offers rear view display for your bike without looking back (with comparisons against Cervellum Hindsight).

While everybody talked about Cerevellum’s “Hindsight” video system at Interbike last week, I saw the Owl 360 camera and video system while wandering the basement. Like Cerevellum, a rear view camera attaches to the seatpost and sends the display to a handlebar mounted display.


Owl 360

Owl 360′s system comes at about half the price of Cerevellum’s Hindsight, though with much reduced functionality as well. Owl 360 does have a couple of extras: Red LEDs automatically flash on at night when the unit is powered on, and the camera switches to infrared mode for night vision capability. Internal batteries recharge through a USB port.

Although Charlie Sorrell at WIRED Magazine pans the idea of a rear view display for bicycles, old folks with stiff necks like me can appreciate the idea of a handlebar mounted rear view display like the Owl 360.


Owl 360

One of the superb features that Cervellum likes to talk about is its utility in racing. Those guys constantly look back to see who’s following and where. A video display allows racers to keep their faces down while also monitoring the action behind them. Hindsight designer Evan Solida anticipated this use and made the effort to get this production sanctioned by UCI for racing. I don’t know if Owl 360 is legal to race with.

A few other bloggers have noted that mirrors provide similar functionality at less cost, and they’re right. The Cerevellum’s coolest feature, to me, is an accelerometer to detect crashes to automatically save the previous 10 minutes of video. This feature might shed a little light on those distressingly common “Single Witness Suicide Swerves” (SWSS) — those crashes in which the only surviving witness is the driver who hit the cyclist. The Owl 360 currently misses this crash-save function.

My opinion on the Owl 360: It’s interesting, but to be truly useful the developers should add a recording and crash-save function.

More at The Owl 360.

7 Comments

  • September 23, 2011 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    never heard of a mirror? it’s lighter and doesn’t need batteries :)

  • September 23, 2011 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    That’s why I mention them in the post.

  • Andy
    September 23, 2011 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Looks too beefy around the seatpost. I’ve had other things that clamped there that posed a problem.

    I occasionally ride with a GoPro and record a commute here and there to watch how people pass from behind. A display up front would be a neat add-on to that, but I can’t imagine buying a camera for the sole purpose of looking back.

  • September 23, 2011 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    this is the internet don’t expect me to read!

  • Paul Johnson
    September 24, 2011 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’d rather see this and a forward mounted camera recording to SD card so the video could be used for law enforcement reporting purposes.  I’m in Oregon right now, the number of bad drivers with long-expired, out of state plates driving like Californians is unbelievable.

  • Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    I’m an older guy and turning my head can really give me a neck ache while riding my rode bike. I don’t own one of these cameras yet, but I’m giving it some serious thought. The added recording feature sounds like something to have for New York City riding.

  • August 21, 2013 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    I’m with you on the stiff neck!

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