As far as cutting edge technology goes, the Skully helmet is one that IoT enthusiasts cannot ignore. Invented by Marcus Weller, Skully is the first Motorcycle helmet to combine Augmented Reality (AR) with a safety focused user interface. Weller came up with the idea after a motorcycle accident in Barcelona in 2010 when he took his eyes off the road for a split second to look at a road sign.
In August of 2014 a small team of people including Marcus Weller and his brother Mitchell, launched a very successful Indigogo Campaign. They initially asked for $250,000 and in the end raised over $2.4 million.
The AR-1 is their first helmet and it comes with a variety of cool features. However, the feature everyone is talking about is the heads up display (HUD).
The HUD is a tiny little video screen that is located inside the AR-1 helmet and shows a 180 degree view around the wearer. This video screen is adjustable with the turn of a knob so that the user can make sure the HUD is right in their field of vision. The ultra wide angle rear facing camera makes it possible to have zero blind spots, even when riding with a passenger. The HUD also displays your speed and step by step GPS directions to your final destination. Using something called Infinite Focus, the HUD allows the wearer to look ahead, glance at the Heads-Up Display, then look ahead again without refocusing their eyes. Skully also uses a high speed microprocessor, meaning the video will never lag.
Image from digitaltrends.com
Skully syncs up with an iOS or Android app in order to show live, accurate directions as well as play music in Skully’s built in speakers using Bluetooth. The music even gets louder when you speed up, and quieter when you slow down.
The helmet’s software is based on the Android platform and can be controlled with voice commands, similar to the ‘hey Siri’ function found in newer iOS software and the Amazon Echo. The Skully battery life lasts between 4-8 hours with charging only taking about 2 hours.
The Skully helmet isn’t just cool, it’s also safe. It is DOT/ECE certified, has a fog, scratch and glare resistant visor and comes with a quick release chin strap for easy removal.
“It’s so easy to get caught up in the coolness of a product like this, but I became increasingly reassured about both the importance of HUD technology, as well as this start-up’s ability to actually execute the product, as we discussed all of the angles they were looking at, especially when it came to safety.” – Revzilla.com
Image from http://www.wired.com
When talking about Skully as a piece of tech, it is extremely cool, and will likely change the face of motorcycle helmets as the technology improves. However, it is also a really nice motorcycle helmet. It comes with a lightweight, aerodynamic polycarbonate shell, 3D laser-cut foam padding, and a liner material originally made for NASA that either absorbs, stores or releases heat depending on the ambient temperature. It is not a sweat-wicking technology, but is meant to help control the temperature to keep the wearer from sweating in the first place.
“As for the camera view, the fisheye lens view helps you see all of your surroundings right behind you. It was nice being able to go through the turns and see if a car was right behind me and how far. Before trying this helmet, I would constantly look in my mirrors to ensure no one was close. With the helmet, I technically didn’t have to take my eyes off the road.” – Rideapart.com
With all these features, it should come as no surprise that the Skully AR-1 is going for a whopping $1,499. Although that cost could give many potential users sticker shock, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for, and the Skully AR-1 is like nothing this industry has ever seen before.
BitNavi is a blog conceived by Karl Motey in the heart of Silicon Valley, dedicated to emerging technologies and strategic business issues challenging the industry.
Kaya Lindsay is a local Santa Cruz contributor who spends her time globetrotting, surfing the web, and writing for the BitNavi team.
Follow her on Twitter: @KayaSays