In 2013, Nuviz successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign for a head-up display (HUD) device for motorcyclists that would attach directly to an existing helmet. Four years later, the device is ready for release, putting customizable information close to the rider's natural line of sight.
Nuviz says the delay in production was due to the complexity of making a fully-featured device that was durable and upgradeable. For those who have followed this segment, Skully tried to do something similar with a helmet that had a built-in HUD unit, but due to a combination of factors, including charges of fraud at the founder level, it was forced to shut down before being able to bring its helmet to market.
"Years ago we were sure we had a good idea and the right technical expertise to bring this product to market," says NUVIZ co-founder Malte Laass. "As enthusiasts, we wanted to develop a solution that not only enhances and simplifies the riding experience, but lays a foundation for the forthcoming technology revolution that will affect riders."
What makes Nuviz different from products like Skully and LiveMap is that it can be removed and attached to any full-faced helmet. Since most riders have more than one helmet, this makes it much easier to justify the US$699 cost, rather than the nearly $2,000 that Skully was charging or the $1,500 LiveMap is currently listing for its helmet.
When the device is mounted to a helmet and aligned to your eye, the Nuviz optics create a virtual image that appears to "float" in the periphery of your eyesight. This is meant to reduce eye movement and keeps you focused on the road ahead rather than glancing down at the bike's console.
An accompanying mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices, connects via Bluetooth to a wireless handlebar controller that provides access to information like current and posted speeds, an adjustable speed warning indicator, current position map, and a 3-D view of a saved route. It also enables control of navigation, communications and music playback.
A headset with a microphone lets you lay down narration on video captured on the device's in-built HD action cam in real time, or you can use it for phone calls or to listen to your favorite music on streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music or Google Play. It's also compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled headsets for rider-to-rider communications.
The built-in camera allows you to capture 8-MP stills and videos at up to 1080p/30fps. Still images are automatically saved to your phone and videos are saved to a Micro SD card that is not included, but slots inside the device. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts brightness.
All of this functionality is powered by a replaceable 3,250-mAh Li-ion battery with a listed eight hours of life before it has to be recharged.
Nuviz says its device is compatible with most traditional full-face helmets, and an accessory mounting kit allows you to easily mount it to different helmets and the handlebar controller to different motorcycles.
The device will be available soon for $699 directly from the company's website for customers in the US and Europe, with plans to make it available to other markets later this year. The four-year wait may have been worth it.