Technology

Sep 1, 2015

One smart helmet

Helmets have been protecting motorcyclists for decades, having bigger or smaller advances over the years. Smart helmets have been around since 2005, with the introduction of bluetooth connection to your phones, built-in microphones and other gadgets. Skully AR-1, however, takes the smart helmet concept a giant leap forward, with the introduction of a rear cam, GPS links and more.

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This new groundbreaking product is set to hit the global markets carrying a price that won't be fit for all, but that's what you pay when you want the best and latest security, comfort and technological innovations on your hands… Or head, in this case. USD$1.500 is the estimated cost of the AR-1, but the specifications are really amazing.

Don't let the looks of a traditional full-face motorcycle helmet fool you; inside the DOT/ECE certified shell, wearers get intelligent audio — helmet-to-helmet communication, hands-free calling, and music streaming — and GPS navigation via Bluetooth to a cell phone, in addition to a wide-angle rear view camera that shows up on a transparent heads-up display built into the visor (fog, scratch, and glare resistant).

The HUD is the star of Skully's show. Skully Helmet's founder and CEO Marcus Weller said he came up with the idea for a helmet with a transparent HUD after he was involved in a motorcycle accident, which he believes he could have avoided if he was looking at the road instead of at the road sign.

Managed by Skully's Synapse system, the helmet's transparent display conveys turn by turn GPS directions, the rear camera feed with a "near 180 degree" view and, if paired with the right bike, vehicle speed, gear, RPMs, and more. Directions themselves are pulled from crowd-sourced maps as well as commercial providers. Navigation will even be available outside cell coverage thanks to the AR-1's ability to save maps; users who stay on the beaten track will have access to real-time map updates with traffic readings.

The area of the display itself takes up as much screen as the palm of a user's outstretched hand in the bottom right corner of the screen. Thanks to "Infinite Focus" the heads-up display focuses to your eye, as opposed to the other way around — or rather, it always looks like its floating clearly in the distance. Turn by turn directions disappear when not needed, further conserving energy and screen space. Riders can also use the app to adjust the rear camera to fit different riding positions.

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