New Garmin Bike Headset Gives you a Heads Up on Traffic Coming up Behind You

By: Nick Gambino

From bike helmets to reflector lights, there’s plenty out there intended to keep those bike bound safe. There are even smart devices which offer information on number of miles “biked” and calories burnt. Despite all of that, Garmin has figured out a new angle when it comes to smart headsets.

Here at the Garmin booth (#35811) at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, they’ve unveiled a new headset that gives you not only traffic information on what’s ahead of you but also traffic in your rearview, meaning behind you (that clarification was for the layman). With this feature, cyclists have an added layer of security on those long bike rides or through the treachery that is city biking.

Known as Varia Vision this slick device attaches to either side of your sunglasses to give you a heads up display right in your line of vision. Unlike some other smart devices that attach to your handlebars making for a less than optimum experience.

You can be alerted to phone notifications, performance stats, navigational directions (how’s that for redundant?), speed and of course what’s going on traffic-wise behind you. As long as you’re paired to Varia rearview radar, you can be warned about vehicles and such that are coming up from behind you.

Garmin VP of worldwide sales, Dan Bartel expressed the importance of having in-sight displays, “We’re extremely excited to announce the next device in our line of innovative Varia cycling awareness products – the Varia Vision in-sight display. Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead.”

With its compact size, 8 hours of battery life and wet-weather and glove friendly touch panel the Varia Vision has been made incredibly convenient.

The proof of course is in the pudding or…actually the proof is in the practical use of the thing. Pudding is irrelevant unless you’re biking to burn off the guilt-laden pint of chocolate pudding you just devoured along with your feelings. But I digress. The proof is in whether or not the Varia Vision works well on the road.

We haven’t had a chance yet to test one of these puppies out while cycling. The concept admittedly is cool though. You can pick one up some time in the first quarter of this year at for $399.99.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, is the new Garmin Varia Vision a worthy endeavor or just another throw-away device?


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch.  He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.