Google Glass may be cool and all, but it just isn't fast enough. No, it's not too laggy, it's just intended for people who have both feet planted firmly on the ground. Okay, Google may have launched Glass with a skydiving demonstration, but that was about recording video. If you want something that is genuinely useful while moving at 80 mph, you'll need something a little more dedicated. Now that I have your attention, I present to you the LiveMap motorbike helmet with navigation currently attracting attention over at Indiegogo.
This helmet actually aims to scratch a particular itch. Motorcyclists need access to maps just like everyone else, but relying on a touch-screen GPS, smartphone, or whipping out a paper map isn't quite as safe when there is nothing shielding the driver from the outside world (and lets be frank, whipping out a map while driving isn't practical for anyone). Since helmets already functions as motorcyclists' windshields, they might as well serve as their navigation assistants as well. The LiveMap helmet places all of the necessary directions front and center.
- Augmented reality for easy and user-friendly navigation
- Clearly visible collimated image i.e. it is always in focus, just like that in scope sights
- Full-color, translucent picture is projected right on the visor like in a F-35 fighter helmet, it's safe, provides unobstructed view, doesn't distract attention and eliminates the need for a separate display
- Supposed size of the system fits a motorcycle helmet - our helmet is going to be just a bit bigger than usual
- Two 3000 mAh batteries for a long operation time
- Microphone for voice control that keeps both hands free for driving
- Two earphones
- Light sensor for adjusting the image brightness according to external light conditions
- G-sensor, gyroscope, digital compass for head movement tracking (the picture changes according to the view direction)
- Our own minimalistic interface that will be used instead of standard Android interface. Thus you will not be able to play games or watch video on the go, sorry!
Unlike Google Glass, the LiveMap helmet does not require eyes to readjust before looking at the material. Nevertheless, I wonder if having content placed right before a driver's eyes might prove to be too distracting. Concerns aside, the helmet will have support for 4G LTE, so at least the map data should download and recalculate speedily.
This Russian project already has the support of the Moscow Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Enterprise; the State Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology of Russian Federation; and the Skolkovo Foundation. The campaign hopes to raise $150,000 by July 12. If all goes as planned, the helmet will ship to North America and Australia in 2014 before reaching Europe and Japan the following year. Get more details in the video below:
Thanks, Tim Donaworth.