Motorists, especially those who prefer two wheels instead of four, have always been considered risk-takers and vulnerable to road casualties. The makers of Skully, a smart-helmet, have perhaps best understood the need to infuse appropriate technology within a helmet to make it more useful and safe at the same time.
A helmet is usually not a very interesting topic since it is worn primarily as a safety device and essentially hasn't altered much since its invention. Though helmet makers have attempted to put on tinted visors, Bluetooth headsets, and earphones within a helmet, these have been mere additions and didn't work in a holistic manner. The Skully helmet radically alters the usability factor of an otherwise mundane product to such an extent that despite its steep introductory funding request on Indiegogo, the company's initial target was achieved barely an hour into the official requisition launch. Incidentally, the makers are asking for $1,400 for the Skully helmet, with early backers receiving one as soon as the helmet hits production.
The Skully AR-1 (AR might stand for Augmented Reality, but hasn't been officially confirmed yet), is an advanced helmet that actually has an Operating System (OS) to run the multiple functions in tandem to each other. Believe it or not, the Skully helmet runs on Google OS for the mobile platform, Android. Though the makers haven't confirmed the Android version, they have confirmed that the platform will receive regular Over The Air (OTA) updates.
Describing the Skully helmet isn't complex. Essentially, it's a helmet that has a rear mounted camera which projects an 180-degree view of the bike's rear onto a transparent Heads-Up Display (HUD). The tinted visor which doubles-up as a futuristic HUD is also capable of delivering information about the bike's speed and guide the rider with visual as well as audio GPS based turn-by-turn instructions. Moreover, by connecting to your smartphone, the Skully helmet also doubles up as a communications hub that allows the biker to read and respond to notifications, receive and make calls without having to remove the helmet or physically interact with the phone.
Despite all the bells and whistles, the Skully helmet outshines any other offering from competitors owing to the significantly expanded field of vision it offers to the rider. Being able to "see" the entire nether region quite literally adopts the saying, "having eyes at the back of the head," thereby allowing riders to be more aware of their surroundings and avoid collisions.
Though the Skully helmet still has a long road ahead to adoption and refinement, isn't the idea of a helmet requiring and running on a smartphone OS, an exciting prospect for nerds as well as experienced bikers?
[Image Credit | Skully Systems]