A new helmet with a built-in, heads-up display and voice control may become a reality as early as 2014 if a small Russian team's Indiegogo campaign works out for them. The helmet contains navigation ability and other features for hands-free use when riding a motorcycle.
Typical navigation tools such as paper maps and touch based GPS navigation devices aren't too bad for your average car or truck driver, but they become more of a problem for motorcycle riders who either have to make frequent stops to read a map, or take their eyes off the road (and drive with only one hand) when using touch screen devices which at times can be dangerously distracting.
The team's answer is to create a helmet with a built in display, a microphone and headphones for communication with the helmet. The features that they plan to currently implement are;
- augmented reality for easy and user-friendly navigation
- clearly visible collimated image i.e. it is always in focus, just like that in scope sights
- full-color, translucent picture is projected right on the visor like in a F-35 fighter helmet, it's safe, provides unobstructed view, doesn't distract attention and eliminates the need for a separate display
- supposed size of the system fits a motorcycle helmet - our helmet is going to be just a bit bigger than usual
- two 3000 mAh batteries for a long operation time
- microphone for voice control that keeps both hands free for driving
- two earphones
- light sensor for adjusting the image brightness according to external light conditions
- G-sensor, gyroscope, digital compass for head movement tracking (the picture changes according to the view direction)
- our own minimalistic interface that will be used instead of standard Android interface. Thus you will not be able to play games or watch video on the go, sorry!
One thing they did not mention was in what different sizes the helmets might be available. Not wanting to leave our readers wondering, we contacted them to see what they had to say. They responded by saying that the helmet will be available in four sizes. Since they did not specify, I assume small, medium, large and XL.
We also mentioned that this may be of interest to off-road vehicle users and asked about the inclusion of a camera for recording rides. It looks like those are stretch goals for the campaign and if they hit $300K they will integrate Bluetooth audio, and if they hit $500K will include a 13 MegaPixel camera with full HD.
We'd like to thank the team for getting back to us so quickly, and also for the images they sent for us to use. We wish the team all the best in their campaign and hope that this unique product makes it to market.