Skully augmented reality helmet brings heads-up displays to motorcycle users


Augmented reality devices, like Google’s notorious Glass, seem like a stupid idea when cantering around public places on two legs. But these may seem more at home is on the road, particularly in situations where the driver, or rider, needs all the information available immediately without averting their concentration from the road ahead. Indiegogo-matured helmet project, Skully, is now offering “the world’s smartest motorcycle helmet” for preorder.

We’ve mention Skully before when the company was in mere infancy, but has since shot to Indiegogo fame. After pitching for US$250 000, the Skully Systems team has ammased over US$1-million, with a further four weeks left on their funding calendar. Unboubtedly, an augmented reality motorcycle helmet is a popular concept with the public.

Starting at US$1399, the biggest wearable available comes with an always-in-focus heads-up display, GPS navigation and a nifty rear-view camera, all available for view inside the unit. The helmet can be tethered to a smartphone too (via Bluetooth), allowing for internet access and updates to the helmet’s firmware. If the visual cues go unnoticed, the helmet is also fitted with a sound system, giving the wearer audio prompts. Don’t expect to win any sound off competitions, though.

Like a traditional helmet, the Skully also protects what helmets are meant to protect, and also features anti-fogging technology and a scratch-resistant visor — the former an absolute must on a rainy, or particularly humid day.

If all goes to plan, the Skully team aims to ship the first smart helmets by May 2015, but one wonders where this leaves augmented reality in cars. Will we see Google Glass infiltrate the sedan, or will automotive designers formulate their own unique technologies, akin to what Jaguar Land Rover is doing?

The Scully AR-1 can be preordered via its dedicated site, but in the meantime, have a look at the helmet in action below.

Andy Walker, former editor


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