Considering the tragic consequences a motorcycle accident can have, increasing the safety of bikers is mandatory. The following augmented reality helmet has great potential in this sense.
Of course, all bikes already have a dashboard, but bikers need to keep their eyes on the road while riding them. With that in mind, it’s easier if information referring to the current ride, along with video shot from angles the bikers can’t normally see, are displayed right before their eyes. Think of this as a smart helmet, if you will.
Ryan Shearman, founder and CEO of FUSAR Technologies, recalled in an interview with Engadget that took place at Augmented World Expo 2014 how the idea of making an AR helmet came to him: “I was in early morning traffic when an inattentive driver hit me from behind and I was thrown from my motorcycle. It started the wheels turning in my head: how can I make motorcycle riding safer?”
An amateur would’ve started thinking about how to add more padding to the helmet, but Shearman had a far better idea: equip a helmet with AR technology so that bikers can see what’s in their way ahead of time.
The Guardian, as Shearman called his creation, packs an Android board, two wide-angle cameras and a few components that were taken out from an Epson Moverio: “What it is, is a fully integrated and connected device that motorcyclists can wear that allows them to have a full cognitive awareness of what’s going on around them.”
The HUD display made from the Epson Moverio parts provides bikers with a video feed from the rear-facing camera, along with navigation and current speed info. It’s easy to forget about oneself when riding a bike, and the adrenaline rush could push bikers to go even faster, so acknowledging the current speed is very important.
According to Shearman, “It also has video recording capabilities. Everything is recorded passively, but in the event that an accident is detected, that footage is locked into hard memory. It effectively has a black box feature built in.” Future prototypes are going to include voice control, as if this wasn’t sci-fi enough.
Yes, it would’ve been much cooler if all that information was somehow projected on the helmet’s visor, but for the time being, this is good enough of a solution.
FUSAR Technologies will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in July, and that is probably when we’ll learn about the price of this smart helmet.
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