Integrating technology into vehicles safely is notoriously difficult. It’s also incredibly important—technology is going to be used on the road one way or another, so we might as well embrace attempts to get people to do so responsibly. That’s even more vital for motorcyclists, who are pretty vulnerable on the road as it is. So, when a company claims to have something that not only makes integrated technology safer, but motorcycle riding itself altogether safer, it could be worthwhile to listen.
Skully is a brand-new start-up bringing augmented reality into motorcycle helmets. Their AR-1 was first shown off last year, a motorcycle helmet with an honest-to-goodness heads-up display. The helmet’s visor has a display that looks like it’s 10 to 15 feet away from the wearer’s face, so it should be helpful without taking up too much field of vision. The display shows a feed from the 180 degree wide-angle camera on the back of the helmet, which monitors everything behind the rider, including blind spots. There’s also turn-by-turn navigation, and it can connect to a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection.
Usually, technology in vehicles is messy because it forces the driver to take their eyes off the road. The great part about the AR-1 is that it does the exact opposite—the rider won’t need to shift attention to rearview mirrors or street signs, so they can stay focused on the road ahead at all times. The idea came from Marcus Weller, the CEO and founder of Skully, who was involved in a motorcycle accident when he looked at a street sign and missed that a car in front of him had suddenly came to a halt. Weller wanted to find a way to keep his eyes on the road at all times, and it looks like he’s found a way.
The AR-1 is still in beta testing, but you can pre-order one as of today. The motorcycle helmet of the future is slated to ship May 2015. Pre-orders will be handled through Indiegogo, where you’ll get access to a $1,400 introductory price. The AR-1 will sell for $1,500 afterwards.