It seems Forcite always wanted to make smart helmets for motorcyclists, not snowboarders. So the Sydney-based company pivoted back to its passion and is working on a nice-looking carbon lid with built-in cameras, Bluetooth, audio and a performance-tracking sensor suite.
In an interview with Smart Company, Forcite founder Alfred Boyadgis revealed that it was investors, not the passion of the inventors, that made the company pivot toward snowboarding helmets. So when the company sold off its snowsports gear and refocused on its biker roots, progress started happening much quicker.
At this stage, the Forcite lid looks like a nice semi-smart lid ready to take on the likes of Sena's Momentum Pro, albeit with the benefit of a lightweight carbon fiber shell. Its built-in action camera (specs TBA, but it'll have built-in image stabilization) sits in the chin instead of on top of the head like the Sena's, which will give a nicer view on more upright naked and cruiser bikes, but might give you nothing but speedometer if you're riding a sportsbike hard. This problem is illustrated in one of Forcite's own promo shots:
Audio-wise, there's a built-in Bluetooth headset. Connect it to a phone and you've got calls, music, podcasts and navigation prompts streaming into your ears. Connect it to another helmet and you've got long-range Bluetooth intercom functions much like what Sena delivers – it'll be interesting to see what kind of range these guys manage to deliver given the apparent lack of pop-up antenna.
An interesting inclusion here is a sensor suite, featuring gyroscopes, barometers, accelerometers, altimeters and GPS chips. That should allow Forcite to do some nifty automatic ride analysis through its phone app – stuff like lap times, auto-generated ride maps, maybe even cornering G-force readouts and the like.
The company seems to want to develop its own navigation interface as part of that app, including live traffic updates. Honestly, we're good with Google maps and feel that effort could be better spent elsewhere, but we're willing to be pleasantly surprised.
The battery is interesting, an inert lithium pack that Forcite claims can withstand cutting, bending, piercing and high impact without exploding. That's the sort of battery I want next to my noggin.
There's no price or release date as yet, and we've watched several smart helmet companies struggle over the years to get anything onto the market. But there may be positive news soon; the company says it's "currently in the process of finalizing test-day events" for members of its "Forcite Test Pilots" Facebook group.
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