Tag Archives: smart helmet

Smart motorcycle helmets getting smarter

Smart helmets are coming and they are getting smarter by the day with the latest calling emergency if you crash and fitted with blind spot detectors.

For several years smart helmet concepts have been been revealed with hi-tech features such as the ability to display vital motorcycle information on the visor or a small periphery screen like in a fighter jet pilot’s helmet.

Few smart helmets have come to market and we wait with eager anticipation for the Aussie Forcite due in March.

Test Forcite smart helmetAussie Forcite smart helmet

Founder and CEO Alfred Boyadgis has one in the mail to Motorbike Writer for review, so stay tuned!

Smarter helmets

Livall smarter helmetLivall

Meanwhile, the latest two smarter helmets unveiled at the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show are one from Chinese cycling helmet company Livall and the Tali Connected from a French startup.

It includes front and rear lighting attached to the brakes to make riders more visible, a 4K HD camera, GPS, blind spot monitor and Bluetooth connectivity with the buttons on the visor hinge.

From the video it looks like it is available as an open-face “jet” styled helmet as well as a full-face or it converts from one to the other like the recently announced Bell Broozer.

Bell Broozer convertible helmetBell Broozer convertible helmet

There is no word on if/when the Livall will arrive or how much it will cost. They usually sell online through Amazon.

Click here to read our warning to riders about buying online.

Tali Connected

Tali Connected smarter helmetTali Connected

The French Tali Connected is also lit up!

It has an array of colour-changing LEDs that link to the brakes and indicators for improved visibility.

The Bluetooth function allows music, calls and navigation instructions as well as making an emergency call in the event of a crash.

Several other smart helmets have included similar functions which have a manual override in case you drop the helmet.

Other features are GPS, an app with a geofence alert if the helmet is stolen, photochromic visor that adjusts tint to the available light and is compatible with voice command such as AlexaSiri and Google Assistant

The planned price is $US1200 (about $1750), but it’s not quite ready yet.

Tali plans a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to get it produced.

Given the controversy with the original Skully helmet, we would advise caution in supporting this venture.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Smart helmet prevents drink riding

While drink riding may be rare, it does happen, but not if a Taiwanese smart helmet fitted with a breathalyser becomes available.

The “Bluetooth Alcohol Detection Smart Motorcycle Helmet” was designed by Taipei City University of Science and Technology and has won best invention at the recent Seoul International Invention Fair.

It includes a breathalyser to test the blood alcohol content of the rider’s breath when they put on the helmet.

The helmet is also connected via Bluetooth to the motorcycle and prevents it starting if it detects alcohol on the rider’s breath.

Obviously the bike would be set up to only start in the presence of the helmet, but that doesn’t stop a rider having it as a spare or the pillion wearing it!

Drink driving and riding

This helmet is similar to the Saab-invented Alcohol Interlock which requires a driver to blow into a tube to activate the ignition.

Alcohol Interlock drink
Alcohol Interlock

Repeat and high-range offenders are required by law to install them in their car and on some motorcycles. Check the various laws across Australian states and territories on the Austroads website.

The Taiwanese smart helmet is only a prototype at the moment and we don’t expect any riders would go out and buy one.

It’s not a huge issue in Australia with an extremely small number of riders testing positive for alcohol, but it does happen.

So repeat offender drink drivers/riders could be forced to wear one.

Controversial University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety Research Centre Professor Raphael Grzebieta has already recommended car-like interlocks for motorcycles.

However, that technology has been found wanting when applied to motorcycles.

Mind you, that didn’t stop him winning the 2019 Kenneth A Stonex road safety award after advocating wire rope barriers, lower speed limits, mandatory hi-vis rider vests and mandatory electronic rider aids.

Honda smart helmet

It’s not just Taiwanese science students who think this helmet tech is the answer.

Earlier this year, Honda filed a patent application for a facial-recognition helmet that would act as a key fob to unlock your motorcycle.

honda helmet key fob radar smartest
Honda’s helmet key fob patent drawing

It features a camera on the inside that identifies your face and then activates the motorcycle.

It would sidestep the problem where a pillion or friend could initiate the ignition with the Tawainese smart helmet.

While we expected it was an answer to a question no one has asked, that may not be the case.

Riders convicted of drink riding or other traffic offences may be required to wear such a helmet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie Forcite helmet sells to USA, Europe

Australia’s first smart helmet has already sold 1000 to be delivered around Christmas and is launching in the USA and Europe next year.

Forcite CEO and co-founder Alfred Boyadgis says their MK1 smart helmet has been a huge success since its unveiling at roadshows around Australia over the past couple of months.

It costs $949 but there is a “special $549 limited pricing in early 2020”.

The company will launch in the USA and Europe in the second quarter of 2020.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Alfred with some early design helmets

Vapourware

Meanwhile, Alfred says other promised “smart helmets” are just “vapourware” which means they have been advertised but are not yet available, because they are just concepts or are still being developed.

“Up until now, the promise of a smart motorcycle helmet has been underwhelming, to say the least,” Alfred says.

“Much of the tech out there is vapourware, over-promising and under-delivering.”

He says their helmet will keep riders “fully informed of what is going on around them”.

“Forcite is here to wage war with the big brands and fly the flag high as the leader in smart helmet tech globally,” he says.

Forcite MK1 features

The MK1 features Forcite’s patented RAYDAR helmet system, combining Formula 1 LED technology, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handlebar controller.

Here is the official Forcite press release providing technical information about the MK1:

RAYDAR

Forcite’s patented RAYDAR system connects motorcyclists to roads, communities and cities like never before. The server-based software system leverages AI to gather information from the millions of data points being communicated through mobile applications, GPS and cameras around the world that are currently inaccessible to motorcycle riders. RAYDAR then transmits that information to riders via a unique LED display that delivers colored visual cues similar to high-tech Formula 1 steering wheels. This enables riders to receive relevant information such as directions, hazards and alerts without dangerous HUD distractions, and without having to take their eyes off the road.

HD Camera

The MK1 features a Sony HD Camera with near infrared sensitivity, super-wide 166° diagonal field of vision lens, and up to five hours of continuous recording time.

Superior Audio

Ultra-thin speakers and dual microphones provide crisp, clear audio in surround sound without road noise. Riders can take phone calls, listen to music or communicate with other MK1 users via Forcite’s voice-over-internet comms system. 

Intuitive Controller

Handlebar-mounted controller puts control at a rider’s fingertips without unnecessary distractions. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Next gen BikeHUD nears completion

After almost four years of development, British tech company BikeSystems is finally about to release their next gen BikeHUD head-up display for motorcycle helmets.

It will feature a peripheral screen (called a “monocle”) that can display speed, satnav directions, a rearview camera and eventually bike information such as fuel, revs, etc.

Unlike some other HUD helmet devices, it does not include a Bluetooth intercom, but that may be added in later development.

BikeSystems has kicked off a Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise $A69,579. They have so far raised more than $2000 so far.

Supporters of this campaign can expect deliveries to start in December 2019.

Prices start from £349 (about $A620) and there are various bundle discounts available saving up to 40%.

Founder Dave Vout says the next gen BikeHUD device will be available from March 2020 through their website.

They are also looking to set up a worldwide dealer network.

Next gen BikeHUD Next gen BikeHUD nears completion

The next gen BikeHUD weighs just 90g and comes with a tiny 8mm screen about the size of your little finger.

The multi-adjustable arm allows the rider to set the screen just under your left or right eye, so the image appears around 2m to one side of the bike’s front wheel.

“It’s close enough for your forward vision to see with the blink of an eye but won’t cause distraction,” Dave says.

“In fact, its positioning is almost exactly where car HUDs are located and in line with industry automotive recommendations.”

Speed is colour coded and the focus is set at infinity so you don’t go cross-eyed.

The screen/monocle fits to the helmet via a plate inside the lining using the helmet’s mounting studs.

The battery and receiver fit to the outer shell via self-adhesive Velcro-type tape.

(Our understanding is that NSW and Victorian police still believe external fittings render a helmet illegal, but NSW have been ordered not to fine riders until the issue is officially resolved.)

The rearview camera is fitted the back of your bike via a license-plate bracket. It provides a continuous live feed via an ultra-low latency wireless connection.

“That means you always know what’s happening behind you regardless of where your helmet is pointing,” Dave says.

There are no buttons to press, no helmet tapping and no spoken instructions required.

It simply shows all the information in a constant feed.

Price

BikeHUD “core” is the basic model with rearview and speed information and no need to connect to another device. It will cost £349 (about $A620).

“Smartphone-style batteries mean there is no installation to worry about and the whole thing just works,” Dave says.

From March you will also be able to link the device to your phone using the free BikeHUD app to get GPS navigation information.

“We intend also to add specialised Apps in future for racing/ track days and Dakar-style off-road competitions,” Dave says.

“We’ve already had basic talks with the MotoGP software sub-contractors.”

Next July, they will add the ability to link to your bike.

“For information such as engine revs, gear, indicators, oil pressure, ignition and fuel warnings we have a plug-in to the diagnostic port in an OBDII format,” Dave says.

“Precisely what we can display very much depends on the year, make and model of the bike.”

They are finalising battery size and power management, but expect both the monocle and camera to last 8–12 hours.

Dave says it should fit 90% of all helmets, including full, flip, jet, cruiser, pudding and most adventure or off-road helmets.

It comes with a two-year warranty.Next gen BikeHUD nears completion

Long time coming

In 2011, the company developed their prototype and launched launched the world’s first motorbike HUD system, BikeHUD in 2013.

Dave says the first model was “an early-adopter product” with limited technology and was only available from January 2014 to March 2015.

“The original unit was a chance for us to get the concept out there,” Dave says.’

“Over the next few years we received a huge amount of feedback from customers right across the world.

“There were three main suggestions that kept cropping up. Firstly, the monocle (screen) needed to be smaller. Secondly, the system needed a rear-view camera. And finally, it needed to be really simple to use.”

All features have been included in this next gen device.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Argon transforms helmet into Iron Man

Argon Transform hi-tech helmet accessory transforms a standard helmet into an Iron Man helmet with head-up display, bluetooth, GPS and more.

Singapore start-up Whyre claim their Argon Transform is the world’s first dual-camera Augmented Reality attachment for a motorcycle helmet.

The $US795 ($A1140) unit doesn’t look too different to us from several others which are available or coming to market soon.

They include the HUDWAY Sight and Kiwi-designed Reyedr which is still seeking funding.

It also follows a growing wave of smart helmets that integrate HUD, and other tech into a motorcycle helmet.

The latest is the Australian-designed Forcite MK1 which has an LED light strip rather than HUD and includes a HD, wide-angle camera, Bluetooth and VOIP intercom and handlebar-mounted control unit.

Test Forcite smart helmet
Forcite

The advantages of aftermarket tech is that you can swap it to your new helmet when you retire the old one.

Argon TransformArgon Transform HUD

The Argon Transform comes as several Bluetooth-connected stick-on units for the side, front and back of the helmet, plus a screen on the inside of the chinbar.Argon Transform HUD

They combine a see-through head-up display with a Bluetooth handlebar controller, inbuilt GPS unit, plus front and back cameras.

Whyre claim the front and rear units weigh only 150g and balance each other out.

Argon Transform HUD
Rear camera

Riders will be able to see tailor-made info such as caller ID, GPS navigation arrows and speedometer, as well as what’s behind them. Video is recorded and stored on an SD card or accessed via an Argon app.

Argon Transform HUD
Rider’s view of the periphery screen

It will also allow riders to access specific ride statistics, Argon settings, a social community and a logbook that records last maintenance dates, spare part changes/cost etc.

The intercom has range only up to 100m, but the speakers are claimed to have active noise-cancelling which should mean clear sound without background wind noise and no need for earplugs.

Argon Transform HUD
(Never put your helmet on the ground like this unless you wants ants or other bugs in your helmet!)

The offline built-in GPS does not require data and operates in remote areas where phone reception is weak.

Argon claims the lithium-polymer battery will last for eight hours on a charge. 

Whyre has launched an Indiegogo Campaign to get a $US25,000 and is already a third of the way there.

Early customers will get the Argon Transform for $US398 ($A570) compared with the retail price of $US795 ($A1140). They plan to ship in February 2020.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Your chance to test Forcite smart helmet

Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for the Forcite smart helmet that integrates a camera system, navigation and intercom in the shell and was developed right here in Australia.

The ultralight and ultra-hi-tech smart helmet will hit the market in December, but you can test it in July and August.

CEO and co-founder Alfred Boyadgis says their 6500 early supporters or “test pilots” can register to test the MK-01 helmet on their Launch Tour around Australia.

Dates are listed below and you can click here to register to attend.

Test Forcite smart helmet

The tour kickstarts with a track-day in Sydney and demo events in all states and territories.

“Throughout the tour, we will be gathering and utilising all the valuable feedback our Test-Pilots give us to further improve and refine the MK-01 helmet to make it the best we possibly can before delivering it to them in December,” their invitation says.

Test pilots will also be able to buy a limited-edition founder carbon composite helmet with gold logos for under $1000.Forcite smart helmet funding

Forcite sales director Dylan Ross says the planned retail price for the helmet when it comes to market in December 2019 will be $A1299.

Flaws fixed

In this video he admits that their earlier Mach 1 model had a few flaws such as the camera position on the top.

He says that the top-mounted camera worked for sports bike riders, but those sitting upright mainly videoed the sky. And if the rider raised their visor, it obscured the camera.

The 160-degree camera has now been repositioned in the chin area.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Chin bar helmet

Alfred also confirms that they have not altered the physics of the helmet which still complies with European ECE22.05 standards.

He says none of the lightweight electronics (<200g) is embedded in the foam lining to ensure the integrity of the helmet’s protection.

The Forcite helmet’s electronics are powered by two ceramic batteries that are guaranteed not to rupture or ignite in a crash.

Uni design project beginnings]

The Forcite helmet evolved from an undergraduate UNSW design project with co-founder Julian Chow.

It followed Alfred’s “near-death experience” when he crashed his motorcycle in an oil spill about five years.

He says he broke his knee and cracked his helmet in half. The attached action camera almost penetrated his skull.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Alfred with Mach 1 and founder helmets

The helmet is based on similar smart helmets Forcite has developed for other industries, and the business recently received mentoring in the UNSW 10X Accelerator. 

They say their helmet and software package give riders “greater situational awareness and allows them to overcome their lack of visibility on the road by communicating essential information about their ride in a completely safe manner”.

It can also alert riders to nearby safety hazards with audio and light signals in the chin bar.

The helmet also provides video and audio recordings of the ride and it can be controlled via a smartphone app.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Mobile app monitors helmet technology

All the technology is integrated inside the helmet with no external attachments.

Alfred says helmet attachments are illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries.

(Our understanding is that NSW and Victorian police still believe external fittings render a helmet illegal, but NSW have been ordered not to fine riders until the issue is officially resolved.)

He says helmet attachments add weight to a helmet and at high-speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury.

There is also concern that they can cause dangerous head rotation in a crash.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Jarvish offers Tron smart helmet

Jarvish has now secured more than enough crowd funding to launch their X and X-AR smart helmets, adding a Tron version with LED strips.

Their smart helmet will include a host of technology such as head-up display, cameras, Bluetooth intercom and GPS all with voice-only control through Siri, Amazon Alexa and OK Google.

The Taiwanese company launched a Kickstarter campaign last year, securing $420,000 in funding.

The full-featured X-AR is being offered at $US1099 (about $A1550) compared with the retail price after the campaign of $US1599 ($A2260). It is scheduled for delivery in September 2019.

The “budget” X version without HUD and the rear camera costs $US499 (about $A700) for early bird backers compared with the retail price of $US699 ($A990). Delivery is planned for April 2019.

Shipping will be free in the UK and US, but $US100 (about $A135) elsewhere.

Tron special

Jarvish have now switched to an Indiegogo campaign for further funding and announced that supporters who ordered the helmet can switch the special Tron version for an extra $US100 ($A140).

The Tron helmet’s micro-draw LED strips can be turned on via voice command attract more attention at night and make the rider even safer.

If you’ve already bought an X on Indiegogo and want to upgrade to the Tron design click here and if you’ve ordered the X-AR click here.

Those who ordered on Kickstarter can upgrade to the Tron when they select their helmet size.

Tron comes with a waterproof helmet bag and extra one-year warranty.  

New customers can buy the X Tron for $599, or the X-AR Tron for $1199 on the Indiegogo page. 

Jarvish features

Jarvish X-AR augmented reality HUD smart helmet

The helmet features front and rear 1080p 360-degree cameras, Bluetooth audio, active noise cancelling to reduce wind noise, a drop-down HUD screen, and integrated satellite navigation.

A range of those features has been promised in other smart helmets, but none promises all of them.

There are other points of difference:

  • The cameras will not only record video on 16 GB of internal storage plus a 256GB card slot but the rear camera can also be used as a rear view mirror;
  • Its head-up display screen is voice-activated to retract and deploy so it isn’t in your face the whole time;
  • Automated sensors turn the helmet on when you put it on and turns off when you remove the helmet;
  • Gyro, e-compass, accelerometer and ambient light sensors analyse the weather and road conditions to provide real-time alerts;
  • Access to Siri, Alexa and OK Google is voice activated without having to tap a button; and
  • Wireless charging.

Jarvish promises to deliver

The Jarvish HUD promises to show “critical information” such as bike speed, local speed limit, time, weather, chance of rain, media, phone calls, fuel stops, compass, navigation, traffic alerts, and even “road slip notifications”.

That’s a lot of information available to overload the rider and possibly make the helmet very heavy.

However, voice activation means the rider can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the bars while  control the cameras, make a call, adjust the volume, play music and more.

Even with all that technology and capability, the ECE and DOT-approved carbon helmets weigh only 14.kg for the X and 1.7kg for the X-AR.

Battery life will be six hours for the X. The extra tech in the X-AR will drain the military-grade solid-state flexible type lithium ceramic battery in four hours.

There is also an Android and iOS app that comes with the helmet to widen its capabilities.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Funding boost for Aussie Forcite smart helmet

Australian motorcycle helmet startup Forcite has received a welcome funding boost that will ensure its ultralight and ultra-hi-tech smart helmet hits the market in the next few months.

The Forcite helmet integrates a camera system, navigation, intercom and active noise-cancelling. It also features an electronically tinted visor that changes tint within a few milliseconds.

Uniseed funding

It looks so impressive, Australia’s longest-running research commercialisation fund Uniseed, has invested in the company, bringing Forcite’s total funding to $2.8 million. 

Forcite spokesman Alfred Boyadgis says the money will allow them to “focus on completing the product and getting ready for test-days”.

“It also means we can stop eating pop tarts and two-minute noodles,” he jokes. Forcite smart helmet funding

Alfred says the helmet will be launched in late April to mid-May.

A founder’s limited-edition helmet in carbon composite with gold logos will be available at around $US949 (about $A1330) to those who come along to their test days.

“This makes our helmet the most affordable smart helmet to be on the market,” Alfred says.

“The founder’s edition is only available to “test pilots” and will be heavily discounted as the point of it is to give something special to those who help us.

“We are selective with the test group and only 10% of people make it in.” 

Smart helmet revolutionForcite smart helmet funding

The smart helmet revolution is coming with several hi-tech helmets or add-on units hitting the market in the next few years, changing riding forever. 

Not to be outdone by Silicon Valley and Asian tech wizards, Alfred and Julian Chow of Forcite Helmets in Sydney have developed their own smart helmet software package.

It evolved from an undergraduate UNSW design project after Alfred’s “near-death experience” in a motorcycle accident where his helmet cracked in half and the attached action camera almost penetrated his skull.

The helmet is based on similar smart helmets Forcite has developed for other industries, and the business recently received mentoring in the UNSW 10X Accelerator. 

They say their helmet and software package give riders “greater situational awareness and allows them to overcome their lack of visibility on the road by communicating essential information about their ride in a completely safe manner”.

It can also alert riders to nearby safety hazards and provides video and audio recordings of the ride.

“We have seen riders attach all sorts of equipment to their helmets in an effort to record their rides – either for fun or for safety,” Alfred says.

“However, the practice of attaching cameras to helmets is currently illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries as the devices add to the weight of the helmet and at high speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury.” 

(Our understanding is that NSW and Victorian police still believe external fittings render a helmet illegal, but NSW have been ordered not to fine riders until the issue is officially resolved.)

Forcite futureForcite smart helmet funding

Forcite recently invited riders to test the helmet in Australia and the US. More than 2000 riders registered to be test pilots. 

Alfred says the company is now in discussions with major motorcycle brands and distributors in Australia and the United States.

“The early interest has resulted in a groundswell of momentum that will culminate when our helmets hit the road early this year,” he says.

Uniseed investment manager Natasha Rawlings says the need for the product is “immense”.

She says the market for helmets with electronics embedded is already worth more than $17 billion a year and will grow 10% in the next eight years.

“Our funding will enable the company to address this growing unmet need and deliver a safer, better experience for thousands of riders worldwide,” she says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Shoei joins smart helmet revolution

Shoei is the first major motorcycle helmet manufacturer to join the growing smart helmet revolution with the announcement of their IT-HT helmet.

The IT-HT helmet will include Bluetooth intercom and head-up display which includes a translucent screen that shows vital information to the rider without them having to take their eyes off the road.

Shoei IT-HT Shoei joins smart helmet revolution
Shoei IT-HT screen

Information can be customised by the rider to include bike data such as speed and revs, but also navigation, incoming phone calls, etc.

Revolution

The revolution is yet to get off the ground.

While there are many start-ups with smart helmets and aftermarket add-on devices such as Hudway, Nuviz and Seemore, few have made it to the market or proved their reliability.

Shoei has a long history of making safe and quality helmets, so their addition to the smart helmet revolution is welcome.

In fact, Shoei is Australia’s most trusted helmet brand, according to a 2018 Canstar Blue survey.

It also lends credibility to the argument that this technology is the future of motorcycling.

Some even predict these smart helmets will make bike instruments obsolete.

Shoei announced the IT-HT at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but did not say when it would be available.

This tech does not come cheap. Most start-up company smart helmets cost well over $1000 such as the Jarvish and Skully helmets.

However, Shoei’s mass-production could mean they are cheaper.

Shoei has partnered with fellow Japanese technology company NS West which makes instruments for cars such as Mazda and head-up displays.

Meanwhile, Australia is also getting in on the smart helmet revolution with the Forcite to be launched in March this year.

Forcite smart helmet revolution
Forcite smart helmet

This year could be when the smart helmet revolution really gets into gear.

But do you think it is safe or a distraction? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Forcite Helmets seek test pilots

Australian motorcycle helmet startup Forcite is looking for riders to act as test pilots for their ultralight but ultra-hi-tech smart helmet.

The smart helmet revolution is coming with several hi-tech helmets or add-on units hitting the market in the next few years, changing riding forever. 

Not to be outdone by Silicon Valley and Asian tech wizards Michael Drysdale of Forcite Helmets in Sydney is working on a helmet that will include a lot of technology.

If you would like to be a test pilot, simply click here and request to join up.

Forcite helmetForcite smart helmet

The carbon helmet will have an integrated camera system, navigation, intercom and active noise-cancelling.

Their custom camera system is based on body-worn video used by the defence force.

They also claim Forcite has developed “a totally new way to navigate, get alerts and locate Police and speed camera’s through a combination of software and hardware technology”.Forcite smart helmet

Forcite helmets will include an electronically tinted visor that changes tint within a few milliseconds.

It sounds similar to the AGVisor system that changes tint in less than a second at the touch of a button.

Valentino Rossi with his special Pista GP helmet with AGVisor tinted visor forcite
Valentino Rossi with his special Pista GP helmet with AGVisor

The helmet is made of ultralightweight carbon fibre composite “unique to the Forcite range”.

They claim it will be lighter than most standard helmets even though it is equipped with a huge amount of technology.

“It has taken us three years of work to learn how to make this possible with the entire electronics package less than the size of a credit card,” he says.Forcite smart helmet

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com