Motorcycle helmet innovator Reevu has come up with what it claims is the world's first commercially available intelligent helmet with a built-in heads-up display, or HUD. While that's a bit misleading – it won't actually be available for another 18-24 months – a HUD for bikers is clearly an exciting prospect, and Reevu with its experience in building in rear-vision capabilities is probably in an excellent position to get it to market.
Details are scant on the proposed HUD system, but here's what we can discern. The HUD information will be displayed as an overlay on the Reevu helmet's rear vision system, not on the main visor. That means you'll still have to flick your eyes up to read it, but it's still better than moving your whole head down to read your speedo as you have to on some motorcycles.
It seems Reevu plans to connect the HUD to the motorcycle's ECU or diagnostics system, as the images display information like engine RPM and fuel consumption data. Reevu has stated it also intends to incorporate things like indicator signals and potentially other "idiot lights." Presumably, then, you'll need an external Bluetooth dongle to attach somewhere on your bike.
Reevu suggests the first version of the Intelligent HUD helmet will be racetrack-focused, with things like lap and split timers installed. Again, some kind of external control like a thumb switch will be needed to trigger lap changes.
This seems like an odd decision. I'd wager the most useful stuff you could put on a motorcycle helmet HUD would be a digital speedo and GPS turn-by-turn navigation prompts. And if Reevu was to build an Android app and an iOS app, it could cover the vast majority of the market without requiring anyone to plug anything into their bike.
Either way, it's certainly a tantalizing proposition and it's hard to imagine HUD displays not being a significant part of motorcycling in 10-20 years' time. Perhaps motorcycle manufacturers will start designing their software systems with this kind of thing in mind.
Reevu is "looking at a target price of UK£700 Sterling" (US$1076) for the intelligent helmet.