Another contender has popped up in the fledgeling HUD motorcycle helmet race, with a few funky features that separate it from the pack. Out of Tokyo, meet the CrossHelmet, with 360-degree vision, touch controls and active noise canceling. And its looks will probably turn a few heads, even if you won't have to while wearing it.
The 360-degree vision is provided by a rear-facing wide-angle camera built into the back of the lid, which displays the rider's rear view in the top center of their vision on a small projection screen. The angle is wide enough to nearly eliminate blind spots if you're prepared to turn your head a bit.
The screen also displays information like navigation prompts, time, battery level and compass headings – but, interestingly, not your GPS speed, which is one of the elements most of these lids consider mandatory.
Backing up the visual navigation system is a built-in Bluetooth audio interface, which will handle navigation prompts, as well as media, phone calls and bike-to-bike, bike-to-group or rider-to-passenger intercom capabilities.
Interestingly, the CrossHelmet team has also attempted an active noise canceling system as well, which is designed to filter out road, engine and wind noise while letting you hear everything else that's going on around you for better situational awareness. Levels are controllable and even look configurable to some degree.
The only other company we're aware of that's having a crack at noise canceling is Sena with its Momentum INC helmet, and we're very keen to see how well this kind of ear-saving tech works in practice.
The other nifty touch the CrossHelmet brings to the table is touch pad control. Instead of the usual array of buttons and knobs, there are chunky touch panels on the sides, which respond to taps, swipes and other motions to control media, volume and other functions when connected to an Apple or Android smartphone.
Weirdly, it seems these touch panels are on both sides of the lid, so it looks like the designers expect you to take your right hand off your throttle/brake to use certain controls. And since the touch panels are capacitative, they won't work with any glove that doesn't drive a smartphone touchscreen.
It's also got an integrated safety light – basically LED strips built into the exterior shell for extra visibility – and the battery is said to last for six to eight hours, which is pretty impressive when running constant Bluetooth, noise canceling, GPS and an always-on rear view camera and display.
Weighing in at 1.78 kg (3.92 lb), it's no lightweight, but is still significantly lighter than something like Schuberth's C4, one of the only other lids you'll find with pre-built-in audio gear, so they're not doing terribly.
As for the looks, it's jet fighter all the way, particularly when you pop the tinted visor on. Care has been taken to offer plenty of room in front to prevent any claustrophobic feeling, and thus it ends up being pretty long front to back. The chin bar looks pretty thin, but I suppose it won't get to market unless it passes safety tests, and it sure seems to offer an impressive field of view.
The CrossHelmet campaigned successfully on Kickstarter and is now in production development with a pre-order price of US$1,599. Full retail will be US$1,799 and it's scheduled to ship in early 2019, although the many disappointments and resurrections of Skully have taught us not to be overly optimistic when it comes to HUD helmet timelines.
Check the CrossHelmet out in the video below.
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