A new Android-powered product in the wearable computing category is set to hit the market next year. Featuring heads-up display, a rearview camera, and GPS navigation, the Skully motorcycle helmet is being marketed as the “World’s Smartest Motorcycle Helmet”.
The DOT/ECE certified polycarbonate motorcycle helmet features an anti-fog, anti-scratch, anti-glare visor which displays an always on, always in focus transparent heads-up display. Running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, companion apps for both iOS and Android will be available for interfacing with the helmet over Bluetooth Low Energy. In instances where a cell signal is not available, the GPS functionality is stored on the helmet which contains 2GB of storage.
One of the key features of the helmet is a rear view camera feed with an almost 180 degree viewing angle. This allows the rider to see not only what is behind them but the goal is also to help eliminate left and right blind spots for safer riding. The HUD will display turn by turn navigation as needed, and if supported by the motorcycle may also display other information such as speed, gear, tachometer, and more. As with any technology which involves video display, concerns arise about this added functionality as being a distraction to the rider. Skully mentions:
The transparent display is positioned outside the rider’s primary field of view and appears to float in the distance. This means you can see the road ahead without any obstruction from the display. This display system simplifies the riding experience because you no longer need to take your eyes off the road to see what is around you or to find your route. With our optical technology, the display is always in focus no matter where you look, allowing instant comprehension of the information.
and goes on to state:
You can turn the helmet off. Then it is just a helmet. When the helmet is turned on, there is a constant rear view video feed.
Video *entertainment* is illegal in many jurisdictions. Video is displayed as *navigation systems* in many modern cars. The maps and turn by turn directions are “video”.
We are complying with U.S. government distracted driver standards.
In order to keep the helmet up to date, the company will be providing OTA updates as required. An open SDK is also planned to allow iOS and Android developers to develop their own apps for the helmet.
Check out the product video below:
Currently available for pre-order, the helmet doesn’t come cheap and is available for $1399 for US residents and $1599 for international customers. Even though you can’t put a price on safety, do you think $1399 is a fair price, or do you think it’s a bit much for the additional tech and safety features this helmet comes with? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!