Iron Man has a lot of flashy qualities to draw attention, from Robert Downey Jr.'s eccentric characterization to the nonstop action, but one aspect that wowed a group of techs in Russia was the hero's augmented reality helmet. Wanting to bring that level of advancement to a motorcycle helmet, the startup company in Moscow developed LiveMap — a motorbike helmet with built-in navigation and a Siri-like voice controlled interface.
Anyone with a motorcycle knows that navigating directions can be irritating and possibly dangerous. Even with a navigation system in front of you, it's still necessary to pull off the road if you want to change the route. LiveMap uses technology found in fighter pilot helmets to project colored navigation information and travel statistics right on the visor. It's pretty much the same thing we've been seeing in luxury cars. "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," asserts the company.
The user interface was designed to be simple and minimalistic, while the voice command list is comprised of short, necessary words — like "Help" for when you get in trouble. The style of map you see depends on how fast you're going. If your speedometer is close to zero, you are able to see an overview map, but you can't see it when traveling at high speeds because the display inhibits sight. The helmet also features POI (points of interest), helping you check out places you may want to stop by during your travels. While you'll need to update the maps on a regular basis via wireless connection, you won't ever have to do it while on the go — the helmet also uses its own engine for internet while riding.
LiveMap is sized a little bigger than standard helmets because extra space was needed for the built-in electronics and optics. Made from carbon fiber and weighing only 2.2 pounds, it'll be available in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes. Within there is a microphone for voice control, two earphones and a light sensor to adjust the image brightness according to the light condition outside. Another neat feature is the navigation's digital compass that changes the view direction according to how your head is angled, always making sure you know which direction you need to be going. I'm sure it goes without saying, but you obviously won't be able to use LiveMap to watch videos or play games.
The company is reaching out to those interested via Indiegogo to raise as much money as they can, hoping to make $150,000 for helmet capsule press molds. With a tentative launch slated for August 2014 in the USA and Canada (with Australia and UK right after), the helmets will be priced at $2,000. For early supporters of the venture through Indiegogo, the helmet will only be $1,800.
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