Motorcycles

New system could bring HUD to more helmets

New system could bring HUD to ...
Seemore HUD is designed to be factory-fitted to motorcycle helmets
Seemore HUD is designed to be factory-fitted to motorcycle helmets
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Seemore HUD is designed to be factory-fitted to motorcycle helmets
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Seemore HUD is designed to be factory-fitted to motorcycle helmets
Seemore claims that the upper right corner of the field of view is the optimal position for rapid, non-obtrusive information absorption
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Seemore claims that the upper right corner of the field of view is the optimal position for rapid, non-obtrusive information absorption
The display module of the Seemore HUD sits approximately above the right eye
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The display module of the Seemore HUD sits approximately above the right eye
Full of features, Seemore's HUD system includes a very practical group interaction option
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Full of features, Seemore's HUD system includes a very practical group interaction option
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Chances are that head-up display (HUD) systems are the next big thing in motorcycle helmet tech, with several startups developing such systems. Seemore's HUD module is designed to be factory-fitted to helmets, offering an abundance of features that include a group interaction tool.

The last decade has seen several attempts at bringing in-helmet display systems to the market, starting from the SportVue way back in 2004. Today's offerings range from Reevu's rear view camera display to Intelligent Cranium's tech-laden helmet, and have even attracted the interest of major manufacturers like BMW Motorrad.

Based in Wroclaw, Poland, Seemore is developing a HUD system that puts the rider's smartphone in the center, using its resources to create an augmented reality environment. The module itself contains the display unit, a controller and a battery – all of which are installed inside the helmet. Connecting via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, this HUD transparently displays its information on the upper right corner of the helmet visor.

In contrast with several other HUD solutions that display at the bottom part of the visor, Seemore based its choice on tests ran by the University of Michigan which suggested that humans are able to get information much faster if it is presented at the upper part compared to lower or middle part. Allegedly saving up to 1.5 seconds in information absorption time can make a huge difference while riding at speed.

The display module of the Seemore HUD sits approximately above the right eye
The display module of the Seemore HUD sits approximately above the right eye

The display module is placed in the upper front part of the helmet and projects its content through a 10 x 10 x 35 mm (0.4 x 0.4 x 1.4 in) prism. The module is powered by a small battery that's good for up to 12 hours of continuous use and be charged via USB in less than three hours.

According to Seemore's business plan, the kit will not be available directly to the public, but will instead be installed by helmet manufacturers in their models. This choice has been made primarily for safety reasons, since adding electronic components inside a helmet requires scrutiny to ensure that these cannot cause injuries in case of an impact.

Using the smartphone as the brain of the whole operation allows for a variety of features to be displayed. Web and GPS resources are used to project information on current speed, speed limits and camera warnings, traffic information, navigation, and a configurable list of points of interest (petrol stations, parking areas etc). The display can also include notifications of incoming phone calls and text messages, although there is no prevision for calling or replying to calls while riding – which would eventually contradict the very essence of a system designed to help the rider keep their focus on the road at all times.

The basic HUD kit can also support a rear view camera (to be sold separately) which can be placed on the motorcycle and connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to transfer its panoramic view to the display.

Full of features, Seemore's HUD system includes a very practical group interaction option
Full of features, Seemore's HUD system includes a very practical group interaction option

Finally, a very interesting and innovative feature serves group interaction by displaying information on the location of every member of the group, and distances between members. Should one rider lose the rest of the pack, the navigation will come automatically on and inform on the whereabouts of the others.

For the time being this is all the information available on the Seemore HUD. The smartphone app has not been released yet, but we do know that it will be available for both iOS and Android devices. The first commercially available helmet with the Seemore module is expected in mid-2017.

"Right now we are discussing with three major European helmet manufacturers. The price of the kit is still under discussion with them, so I can't share more at this moment," said Seemore CEO, Grzegorz Palmer to New Atlas.

Source: Seemore

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4 comments
ei3io
What is the focal plane distance of the images. If its not too different from the real world focus then a nausea can ensue from the eye's focus and convergence disparity.
Stephen N Russell
Mass produce, awesome, for all biker helmets.
Glen Jacobsen
People with bifocal or multifocal glasses may not be able to focus on a display at the top of the visor. The top portion of the glasses lens is for distance viewing. The bottom portion of the glasses lens is for near viewing. I see (all puns intended) lots of issues with trying to see the HUD display when it won't focus in my glasses.
NatalieEGH
I admit, I would love having some of the features listed since they would mean not having to take my eyes off the road turning/tilting my head for a second or two to see before lane switches or checking my speed.
I am, however, more interested in something that controls sound volume with active noise reduction that would severely reduce the wind noise and exhaust noise. Unlike many motorcycle riders, my motorcycle is my primary means of transportation, including grocery shopping (just make multiple trips if needed).
I also do LONG trips. I have averaged about 2000 miles per month on my current bike (except when I had a broken leg). As long as I have the money, going 300+ miles for a good/correct Chicago style hotdog is reasonable to me. The problem is when I get to where I am going, it takes a while to have my ears stop ringing and the headache from the noise to end.
No, given the described helmet and the new Sena Smart Helmet coming out next year, I think I would take the Sena even if it cost more.
Now if they had all the features listed (assuming I could focus correctly on the HUD), plus really good active noise reduction that would get rid of wind and exhaust noise, that I would pay $2000 for and count the cost a bargain.