HindSight’s V2 Artemis glasses promise to put eyes on the back of your head, enabling you to see what is behind you without turning your head and averting your focus from the road ahead.
HindSight’s patented lenses feature mirroring on one edge, allowing you to look behind with only a slight movement of your eye.
Similar products have been offered in the past but, unlike others, the mirrored section on HindSight’s glasses is transparent, allowing you to still use your peripheral vision when looking down the road.
HindSight’s original glasses were first released in 2021 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The glasses cost £199.99, though, at the time of writing, they are available on HindSight’s website for £150.00 (international pricing is TBC).
The glasses are the brainchild of Alexander Macdonald, who developed them alongside his childhood friend and Olympic medallist, Callum Skinner.
Alex says, “HindSight glasses should be used like the rear-view mirror in a car, to check for what’s behind you rather than relied on for manoeuvres.”
As with the first version, the V2 glasses were crowdfunded, this time via Indiegogo.
Production versions of the new glasses are expected to reach customers in April 2023.
Adjustment period and riding
The new V2 glasses feel more refined than the originals, and there’s a choice of two casual frames – the Artemis and Morphius.
Nose and leg grips are provided in the box helping the glasses stay put when hopping curbs and attacking cobblestones on city streets.
HindSight offers both frame options in three frame colours: black, tortoiseshell, and clear. The lens also comes in three colours – blue, red, and black.
The Artemis glasses we received feature a black frame and blue lens.
The brand recommends spending 15 minutes getting used to the glasses before riding.
Spending this time off the bike helped me to understand how to focus with the glasses. I was glad I took the time to do this once on the bike.
A helpful mirror image of the brand’s motto is printed on the box, which you can use to practice reading behind your head.
On the bike, the angle of the lens makes the rearview mirror most useful when sitting up.
The glasses offer a line of sight over your ear, making it hard to see past your shoulders when you sit in a hunched-over position.
Long hair poses a similar issue, which can only be addressed by tying it up (or rocking a mullet).
In very early testing, the extended peripheral vision did make me feel a bit like a prey animal but helped me to spot overtaking cars and position myself in traffic.
When stopped at junctions, it was also useful to see cars had spotted me and were slowing down.
The night lenses feature a yellow tint to brighten your vision in the dark, while the mirror is more transparent so you can see more of the road ahead.
Having mainly tested on city streets – which can be disorientating at the best of times – more testing is needed to prove the effectiveness of the glasses.
I’m also yet to test he glasses at night, though I fear watching headlights chase me through the dark may add more than a little stress to my ride.
On that, from my limited testing, I’ve also found they turn everything around you into a perceived threat, causing what I’ll coin ‘Pedalling Paranoia’. Awareness of your surroundings is an important part of staying safe on the road but this extra information can feel a bit overwhelming at times.
Further testing is needed to see if these problems subside after more time spent wearing the glasses. Stay tuned for more.