Motorcycle Helmet with Smartphone Link and HUDAugust 12, 2014
Motorcycle helmets haven't changed all that much in the last few decades. Sure, the colors and materials have changed a little. Venting and visors have improved. But overall, they're pretty much the same as they've always been. That's about to change. The same leap in technology that cell phones experienced as they jumped from flip phones to smartphones is about to hit the motorcycle helmet world. Skully is introducing a smart helmet.
As a motorcycle rider, I can tell you that what Skully offers is revolutionary....and I want one!
The most radical aspect of Skully is a Heads-Up Display (HUD). Like Google Glass, a little transparent screen is built into the helmet. It sits off to the side so that it never interferes with the main view of the road, but it's within the field of vision so the rider can view information without having to lose sight of the road.
The HUD will display all kinds of useful information. To start with, the helmet has a built-in video camera in the back of it. This camera has a 180 degree view. Essentially, you should be able to see everything beside you on your left, behind you and all the way to your right. No more blind spots, no more need to divert your eyes from the road to look in your mirrors.
In addition, the HUD can display GPS routing. The helmet has the ability to track your location and ride as well as provide directions using on-board map storage.
What's better is that the helmet can connect to a smartphone via bluetooth. This opens up a world of features. Google maps with traffic can be displayed. Text messages and phone calls can be received using voice recognition and the built-in speakers and microphone. Internet access should be available, although it will be restricted while riding.
If that's not enough, the visor uses the E-Tint system to electronically tint the visor. During bright sunlight, simply pushing a button on the side of the helmet instantly darkens the visor. During evening or shady areas, another press of the button removes the tinting and the visor is clear.
Skully is currently raising funds on indiegogo and plans to have the helmet ready to ship sometime in 2015. The price is a bit steep at around $1,400, but for serious riders, the helmet is probably going to end up on the 'must have' list.
If you'd like to see what Skully looks (and sounds) like from a rider's perspective, check out the following video:
Image Credit: Skully Systems