Philippe Starck once famously said that there should be no cars on the road—-only motorcycles. While some soccer moms may disagree, his theory is valid: less pollution, more space, and dare I say it—more badassery. With all the recent developments of augmented reality-based windshields seen in concept cars in the past few years, it was only a matter of time before a Google Glass-like HUD in a motorcycle helmet saw the light of day—and as sci-fi as it sounds, it’s real and it’s here.
LiveMap: Augmented Reality for Motorcyclists
Designed in Russia, the unique helmet design features a head-mounted display with a full-color, translucent picture projected directly onto the visor. An on-board light sensor adjusts the image brightness and translucency based on the exterior light environment. Also on-board are a G-sensor, gyroscope, digital compass, and a Siri-like voice recognition system for asking where the nearest gas station or Italian cafe is. Hitting the scales at 1.4 kg, the helmet is comparable to existing motorcycle helmets on the market–a big factor for long-distance riders. The on-board navigation system is powered by Navteq while the voice commands are handled by Nuance.
Perhaps one of the more well-considered features is the speed-controlled map viewing. If a user is moving any faster than near zero, the overview map will not operate. While some may argue that having a HUD display in a motorcycle helmet is an unsafe concept regardless, consider the amount of teenagers (and their parents for that matter despite the arguments) texting at 75 mph in their Dodge Caravans on their way back from Dairy Queen.
The company has been developing the product for the past five years with a $1 million backing from the Russian government. At this point in time, they have nailed down the software, optics, electronic board, and outer shell of the helmet. The company hopes to launch the helmet in the third quarter of 2014 in the US and Canada, and the fourth quarter of 2014 for the UK and Australia. Currently, the company is seeking funds to help make press molds for the helmet capsule and has a campaign running on Indiegogo. While the helmet is expected to retail for $2,000 (effectively putting it in the ‘toy’ category of motorcycle accessories), you can get yours for $1,500 through your campaign contribution, if interested.
(All images from LiveMap)