Motorcycling - Gear/Equipment

HUD Motorcycle Helmet Technology - BMW & Others in the Race!

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If you don’t know already, HUD Motorcycle Helmet (Heads Up Display) market is poised to grow. When google glass first came out, it made everyone wonder about the possibilities and implications of such technology in other areas. Today we’ve come far from the days of Google Glass. HUD technology has grown by leaps and bounds (not with google glass but in other wearable tech space), adding a lot of convenience to professional and commercial applications. So I believe motorcycle helmets couldn’t be left far behind in getting a technology upgrade. This is bound to happen especially because HUD helmets already exist and are being used by air force pilots for quite some time.This helmet technology is only going to get cheaper and accessible to everyone.

Hence augmenting the communication and navigation experiences of riders. Gear makers have also gotten into the act and it is no surprise that the head up display motorcycle helmet (HUD) is emerging as the newest trend.

This helmet technology is only going to get cheaper and accessible to everyone. Hence augmenting the communication and navigation experiences of riders. Now, gear makers have also gotten into the act and it is no surprise that the head up display motorcycle helmet (HUD) is emerging as the next best thing to happen in motorcycling!

BMW Head Up Display Motorcycle Helmet Technology
Motorcycle Head Up Display

Gone are the days when motorcyclists preferred to stay away from technological intrusions. Enter the HUD motorcycle helmet and riding experiences are set to be changed forever once the smart helmet technology manages to get off the ground.Let’s get you

Let’s get you up to speed with all things HUD helmets, read on!

What is a Head Up Display Motorcycle Helmet

A head up display motorcycle helmet, commonly referred to as the HUD, presents a transparent display to show vital information that the rider can view easily without having to look away from the road. The motorcyclist is able to focus on the road ahead and on other riding parameters; there is no need to look away refocus every time. Equipped with HUD, the smart and connected helmet is deemed to be the next big thing in the motorcycle riding and racing circuit. Set to release soon, these high-tech helmets have everything to make motorcycle riding safer and immensely engaging. Indeed, the technology is exciting with the in-helmet displays presenting real-time data crucial to the rider’s current riding situation, right in front of his eyes.

A helmet is going to be much more than a shell of foam and fiberglass on your head providing protection. A connected helmet is a user-friendly gear and it is precisely what riders need to stay connected to GPS and communication systems. Well, this is not all! From start-ups trying to make a foray into this high-tech space and failing to deliver the goods (Skully), now it’s major manufacturers that are trying to give the idea a shape of reality, leaving the game changed for good.

Let’s talk about one of the big brands who have ventured into this space. BMW!

BMW’s Head Up Display Motorcycle Helmet Technology

The BMW Head up display
The BMW Head up display or HUD helmet integrates with your mobile phone and BMW motorcycle

There has already been a flurry of activity in the field of HUD helmet development with some startups and an existing helmet company (Bell Helmets) pushing themselves hard to launch their HUD device in the market, keeping the safety aspect in mind.

BMW Motorrad has been deploying the best of resources to develop its own head up display motorcycle helmet that features a mini computer with speakers integrated into its build. Developing HUD systems is nothing new to BMW. They have already been offering this technology as an optional purchase in its automobiles since 2003. Drawing from its expertise in this field, BMW is aiming to harness technology and use it for providing essential information to the rider without him having to look away from the road.

HUD Motorcycle Helmets – The Features

The BMW Head Up Display system will be optimized to work with your motorcycle. As per the company, the helmet will present information such as oil and fuel level, travel speed, selected gear, tire pressure, and speed limit. All inside the racer’s visor or face shield. Projecting essential bike information and traffic situation directly in the rider’s field of view, it helps the rider stay in control without any distraction. These features are useful, a brief moment of distraction while riding could result in a critical situation on the road.

Vital information displayed by BMW’s head up display helmet
Vital information displayed by BMW’s head up display helmet

The displays can be easily programmed to show only useful and relevant information to the rider, reducing distraction. The futuristic V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication technology helps in displaying information in real time. This provides warning of the imminent hazards on time. What’s more, this communication system can allow a rider to send warning signals instantly to fellow riders in the vicinity to stay away from any obstacle he encounters first. The head up display motorcycle helmet helps a rider visualize information that can help in optimizing riding comfort. It has easy navigation options. This allows you to lay out the entire route to plan a ride before you embark on it.

The possibilities are limitless with such technology, and this is what BMW reckons too. In addition to giving a boost to safety, the HUD makes riding a more intensive activity. It proposes to have two cameras. One, an action camera pointing forward inside the helmet, which will record the journey footage from the helmet itself. The other can be used as a rear view mirror, helping the rider keep an eye on the traffic position behind. The high-tech helmet also provides visualization of others in the group, helping the rider see where his fellow riders are at a given point.

hud motorcycle helmet
The back camera functions as a rear view mirror

And how do you control the HUD helmet functions? Well, the BMW Motorrad multi-controller helps in operating the functions through the left-hand handlebar fittings. Along with assisting camera operation, it helps the rider choose data he needs, increasing or decreasing functions according to preferences. It is powered by two replaceable batteries with a run time of about five hours. The BMW HUD should be a good bet for rider safety and comfort.

DigiLens is the firm that is providing the technology for BMW’s head up display motorcycle helmet. With a new display technology called Waveguide, the helmet will make sure the screen has a long-range focus point. This makes the image on the visor screen appear sharp while your focus stays unwavering on the road ahead. Along with GPS mapping and fuel, the helmet can show phone communication details, indicator lights, and engine management system too.

We are already in love with what BMW is doing, aren’t you? It’s still too early to talk about the price of this thing, for now, let’s hope this thing becomes a reality. And BMW is not alone in this space, let’s talk about other manufacturers who are working on HUD Helmets.

Other HUD Motorcycle Helmet – High on Functionality and Style

Raising the technology bar by a few notches, HUD helmets will revolutionize the way people perceive wearable technology. Let’s take a peek at some other head up motorcycle helmets to watch out for in the future.

  • REEVU – a HUD motorcycle helmet, bundles safety, comfort, and style into one sturdy head gear for bike enthusiasts. Helping riders see the road behind them with the true functionality of a rear-view mirror, REEVU also reduces wind noise drastically.
  • LIVEMAP – a distinct high-tech HUD motorcycle helmet with a contemporary design. It offers a built-in navigation system through GPS and voice controlled interface. ‘Amazing’ is the word you’ll find befitting for this one! Update July 19th: They just started taking pre-orders and check out the Helmet in action here
  • NUVIZ – offers an integration of much useful technology driven functions into a quick to install, helmet-mounted device. Now you don’t need separate equipment for playing music, communication, GPS navigation and capturing videos or photos because this all-encompassing add-on is built to do all of these and more for the focused rider in you. Your rides will be smoother, simpler (minus the clutter of multiple cables), safer, and distraction-free!
  • BIKEHUD – is set to enable context-oriented display inside your helmet. This is so only pertinent information is displayed while you focus on the road that lies ahead. The device integrates into your helmet to provide vital motorcycle data, GPS, alerts on safety aspects, rear vision, and speed. It synchronizes with the BIKEHUD app on your phone for more personalized experiences. A modular system approach works favorable on your budget, offering you a choice between a simple or more comprehensive HUD device.

Without a doubt, the smart helmet is on its way. Thanks to some giants entering the space, it is only a question of time before these helmets redefine motorcycle riding. There is no dearth of technology but it’s the way these prominent companies mold technology into a mind-blowing, compact form, that will rule the race to the finish line. Safety is utmost important and after that is taken care of comes comfort and convenience. The head up display motorcycle helmet that offers the best integration of utility features provides value addition to riding experiences and is priced reasonably will steal the show.

Time will tell! We have our fingers crossed.

Don’t wait or hold your buying decisions till these helmets are available in the market, they are still quite far from launch, check out our Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide if you are looking to buy a new helmet.

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