Is the Zona M100 rear-view camera the future?

Published: 19 May 2017

UK-based start up Zona have designed a rear-view camera system with the aim of keeping bikers looking forward, rather than at their mirrors.

The system uses a bike-mounted camera to capture the footage behind the rider, which is then sent via wi-fi to a receiver attached to the riders helmet. A small display on the end of a flexible arm fitted inside the rider's helmet then shows what's behind.

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The image is stabilised via a series of accelerometers and gyroscopes before being projected onto the display. The flexible arm holding the display can be positioned above or below the rider's eye, so as not to obstruct the view ahead but to remain in their peripheral vision. The system also stores footage, should you want to view it after your ride and the accelerometers can detect a collision and store footage of the event if provided memory stick is attached.

The flexible arm can be used on the left or right side of the helmet as the unit detects which way up the arm is and rotates the screen appropriately. What you see on the small screen is only a small portion of what the rear camera actually sees but Zona have built in a couple of clever features to expand your rear view.

If you're pulling out to overtake a car and would like to see what's behind and to the right of you, simply nod your head to the right and the display will move to the right portion of what the camera sees. Nod your head again and the display will recentre. This also happens when the camera detects you're going round a corner or roundabout. If you're going around a right hand corner the view will shift to the bottomt left of what the camera sees, showing what's behind you when you're redy to take your exit from the roundabout.

The camera itself is fitted with a standard action camera mount which works with Zona's mounting plate and any other action camera mounts on the market, so you can place the camera wherever suits you. If you own more than one bike Zona will also supplu you with additional fitting kits.

The camera connects directly to the bike's battery, while the receiver unit has a battery life of 10 hours and can be fully charge in two hours using a micro USB cable.

Zona say the product will be delivered to those placing pre-orders from June 30, 2017, and are currently offering the unit at a special price of £195, compared to the normal price of £239.

San Francisco based start up Skully Helmets attempted something similar in 2016, instead opting to incorporate the system into their own helmet, but the company ceased operating before they could bring the product to market.

BMW unveiled a heads-up display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last year, although their system would only display information such as speed, speed limit, tyre pressure and navigation. The system has yet to make it into production.

One head-up display system already available on the market is from BikeHUD. Their systems again only shows information such as speed and outside temperature. We last reviewed the BikeHUD system in 2014.

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