Proper gear is important in order for a biker to survive in case of disruptions, distractions and destruction; but how about a head gear that can make you avoid them all together in the first place?
Skully AR-1 an augmented reality helmet, with a voice-controlled heads-up display (HUD) that provides an ultra wide angle rear view and side view video, bike data, GPS instructions, and phone and music utilities.
The AR-1 (AR stands for Augmented Reality) is the first helmet from the team at Skully and features the first HUD system available for a motorcycle helmet. Its two main features are its 180-degree, rear-facing camera, and a little screen placed in the bottom right portion of your field of view. The screen allows you to see everything behind you, no matter which direction your helmet is facing, without any blind spots. Skully has also developed its own interface to bring turn-by-turn directions and a few other basic pieces of information to the screen, all with the purpose of reducing the mental load placed on the rider. Connectivity will come through pairing with your phone via Bluetooth, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be relying on Siri, necessarily. The Skully guys say they’re working on their own voice-recognition software to improve your access to the AR-1’s abilities while riding. There are also plenty of extra applications for things like track riding, where Skully is working on bringing things like speed, rpm, and other figures to the little screen.
“The AR-1 will introduce a new era in intelligent transportation by combining optics, intelligent vehicle systems and connectivity to deliver unprecedented levels of safety,”
Skully founder and CEO Marcus Weller said in a press release.
To provide such functionality, the Skully A-1 has a fin mounted atop the DOT-approved helmet that houses the aforementioned hardware, plus GPS, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, gyro, compass and a rechargeable battery. Skully is rated to have a nine hour battery life, which should last for more than a week of average commuter use, or for an all day ride.
They also designed and engineered the shape of the fin that houses all of the hardware to help eliminate ambient noise, thereby improving the voice control UX.
The rear spoiler that contains the camera and processor is designed to break off instantly on impact, so it doesn’t affect the way your head may potentially hit the pavement.
Skully is currently still in the process of developing apps for the helmet, Some of the apps will provide wearers with navigation and the ability to view the camera feed, with an SOS function (should the helmet sense an accident) and other apps to come from third part dvelopers. The company will be opening up the platform so that third parties can code for it as well.
The HUD display is mounted on a ball joint, for easy adjustment. It’s located in the lower right hand corner of the wearers FOV, a position that is relatively unobtrusive, allowing the wearer to look around without being distracted.
the HUD automatically adjust to ambient light to improve view in different conditions. Of course, waiting for the lights at a Kidere drummed roundabouts is different from rocketing along Thika Road on a 1000cc Ducati. No doubt the Skully team is taking no chances in their quest to make biking more safer and a more enjoyable endeavor.
We believe technology should eliminate distractions. It should remove blindspots. It should provide you direction when you want it, and help you focus your attention back where it belongs – on the road ahead.
Honor The Moment
Safety is the ultimate goal of the Skully team, and the key aspect of the HUD is the rear view camera. Any bike rider will agree that side mirrors are often limiting, and they tend to show only elbows and mostly a rider is required to move his head and change his focal distance to get a better view. With Skully, mirrors are no longer a necessity. Your bike is now narrower, making splitting lanes that much easier. With the helmet on, you are able to see someone standing as close as two feet behind you and three feet to either side. This is all visible without moving your head!
The idea of riding at night and having a bright screen directly in front of your eye may not sound like the best idea, but the rear view camera can be used as an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of the HUD.
The little cube that houses the screen is a nice piece of tech too. It moves forward and back, and swivels slightly so you can make sure the display inside is right where you need it to be. Skully says they have gotten a lot of feedback from military fighter pilots to create an experience that provides the best ratio of open vision to screen, as well as giving you the optimal amount of information. The screen is designed so that your eyes don’t need to re-focus when looking from the road to the screen, or vice versa.
The liner used inside the AR-1 was created by a company called Outlast. Originally created for NASA, the material is designed to either absorb, store, or release heat, depending on the ambient temperature. Outlast is not a sweat-wicking technology, but is meant to help control the temperature to keep you from sweating in the first place.
Equally innovative is the new face shield, which uses an electrochromatic liquid crystal technology called e-Tint, originally created by a company called AlphaMicron for the military and now adapted for commercial use. It lets the rider switch the visor between tinted and un-tinted at the push of a button. This is awesome for the most obvious reason of not having to carry two shields to deal with variable lighting conditions. The second benefit, to this fighter pilot like tinting, is the increased visibility of the HUD.
Sizes available in S-XXL. Colors in Matte Black or Gloss White.
A representative from the SKULLY team will contact you after the campaign to get your choice of size and color.
Thus far, Skully has pulled in about $730,000 in pre-orders, well above its $250,000 goal. To place an order, and the $1,399 helmet for U.S. buyers is the cheapest option; international bikers will have to pay $1,599.
For $1,999, buyers can get a signature edition AR-1, which will be hand-numbered and signed by CEO Marcus Weller. Really big spenders can shell out $25,000 for a prototype helmet that will ship in February.