Skully AR-1- The Future Of Motorcycle Helmets?
New technology is always a bit scary. When we don’t know how things work, we tend to want others to try it out first. Is everyone ready for a smart phone? Maybe not. So what about a smart helmet?
The team behind the Skully AR-1, however, think that even for $1,500, their helmet is worth buying. Instead of building a traditional helmet out of exotic materials like carbon fiber, what they’ve done is created the world’s first true smart helmet.
If you have never heard of Skully, you’re not alone. The company got its start on Indiegogo in 2014. A promise of a smart helmet led the founders to raise nearly $2.5 million in two months, 979% more than their original goal. Now, as May rolls around, they’re set to begin shipping those pre-orders soon.
There isn’t a crowdfunding campaign that’s shipped on time. Pebble and Oculus Rift were both late. Regardless of the reasons why something is delayed, backers get angry and sometimes those running the campaign disappear behind updates, mass emails and Facebook posts. Weller didn’t do that, he told Engadget, “people online chewed me a new one and rightfully so.”
Weller decided to explain why the Skully was being delayed directly to his customers with a two week world tour traveling to seven cities including New York, Boston, London and Sydney. “You know what, these people backed us. They put $1,500 down a significant amount of time in advance and I want to go meet them. I want to thank them for that.” Weller said. “If they have complaints or are upset about the shipping, I want to address it face-to-face.”
Another reason for the delay is that the company has invested in manufacturing. The helmets will be built in the Flextronics factory in Milpitas in Silicon Valley. But there’s also this desire to make to keep making it better.
Bringing the whole system together, Skully’s founders have developed their own operating system to integrate GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directions and Bluetooth connectivity for your phone. Once you pair your phone to the helmet, it enables features like streaming music and hands-free calling. They are also working on being able to integrate data from the bike itself so that a digital speedometer and tachometer could be displayed through the visor as well.
The helmet will now get a carbon fiber inlay on the inside to enhance crash protection. Considering the idea of the helmet was born out of an accident, it’s not hard to see why the team is willing to hold off a launch to safeguard the brains of its customers. The finished device will be DOT and ECE (the MotoGP standard) safety certified. “Our helmet is an extremely safe helmet. It vastly surpasses what we need to do from a shock absorption perspective,” said Weller. “When we ship this, it will be the most complex consumer device on the planet.”
The think this idea is a great one, and there are a lot of people who are interested in seeing it come to market.