alex

118 months ago

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The Skully AR-1 Helmet Review: Why I'm Not Sure It's A Good Idea

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Skully concept Head-Up Display (HUD) Helmet

The Skully concept Head-Up Display (HUD) Helmet

Skully has got a lot of press recently, and if you didn't know, they're moving into the last day you can order one.

The $1,500 motorcycle helmet generated incredible interest when a pre-order campaign on Indiegogo launched in August 2014. As of February, 2016 - the product is still not available in market.

If you've not seen it (i.e. have been living under a rock) it's a helmet with an integrated heads up display. It also includes a built-in GPS and rear view camera. It works by integrating with your cellphone via bluetooth, but it will also have it's own in-built computing. In other words, it will be able to run third-party apps. All of which sounds very cool.

It also costs a lot of money.

Personally, I'm not sure it's a great idea for a helmet. On paper, it's a fantastic idea: GPS without having to look at the bars or away from the road. Then again, I can't help but think the heads up adapter will get in the way of my vision. And how often do most of us really need GPS?

Then there's the computing aspect of it - will it have enough power to ride all day? What happens with updates? Will it suddenly be too old to run the latest updates like my old phone? Will I still be able to use my intercom without screwing up the internal wiring?

And did i mention the cost? It's about $1,500 each (though you get a discount if you buy two). We normally keep a helmet for 3-5 years.

The way mobile processors work, they're pretty much out of date in 18 months. I suspect you may see users with out of date equipment or a large investment every couple of years. At that price, I'd rather buy a carbon Schuberth and keep the change.

It's great to see innovation in the space, and I'm very pleased that Skully managed to hit almost 10x their initial investment on IndieGoGo, but I think for now I'll wait to see if they are at EICMA this November and give it a try.

Even then, I think I'll still want to wait for version two until I consider paying for it.

You can pre-buy the SKULLY AR- 1 here.

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j4zb4

117 months ago

And I agree with @alexp206... Voice prompts are more than enough when it comes to GPS instructions... Most of us do not really need to see the map in HD... :p

j4zb4

117 months ago

A heads up display on a helmet is a very good idea IMHO... Especially at speeds... It is a different story on a cars windshield... There is a lot of space and can be placed inconspicuously... Not so on a visor... Too close to your eyes and would/could be really hazardous..

alex

118 months ago

@VRSCDX - I think I gave those nuviz guys some money, but never heard from them again

@alexp206 did you see the Nuviz? I'd like this, but smaller, please.

VRSCDX

118 months ago

I think I would prefer to have just the display and use it with an iPhone so I'm not stuck with a bunch of proprietary stuff......

more like this:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nuviz/the-first-head-up-display-for-motorcycle-helmets?ref=category

http://www.ridenuviz.com/#intro

alex

118 months ago

@alexp206 - have to agree that speedo/tacho /etc would be more useful to me, too. I might have to look at their API and see if we can't create it!

alexp206

118 months ago

It should definitely be a unit separate from the helmet. I'm more interested in a Speedo / Tach / Idiot Lights then GPS. Voice prompts are generally enough to get me where I need to go.

alex

118 months ago

Just read a bunch more, and battery is quoted as nine hours. The way my rides go (and the typical battery lasts) that's not enough for me. The Skully solution is to "plug in" on the bike, but I'm not a fan of that.