LiveMap Motorcycle Helmet Heads Up Display Prototype From Russia

Livemap helmet with heads up display

Livemap helmet with heads up display

Heads up displays have been talked about for years, they seem to come and go, just like the companies that keep trying to build them. If someone could get it right, they would probably have a pretty good market and that's what this group of Russians is trying to do with LiveMap.

Livemap basic minimum display

Livemap basic minimum display for riding at normal speed

LiveMap will be sold as a complete system built into a carbon fiber helmet, no add ons attached after the fact. It will have GPS, voice activation, two earphones, gyroscope, digital compass and G-sensor, all inside the helmet. The information will be projected into a small image directly on the visor and it will adjust depending on where your head is pointed thanks to the compass.

A sensor will dim or brighten the display depending on ambient light. The display itself will have the minimum, but essential information in view, but when you are stopped or just moving, an overlay map can show greater detail. The batteries are said to last for the entire day and you can recharge through a USB cable.

Livemap display with overlay map, only viewable at near zero speed

Livemap display with overlay map, only viewable at near zero speed

Like many companies, they are crowdfundng the development, but unlike some campaigns you may have seen, this one has already made a lot of progress. They've received some grants and funding, but not enough to take it to a production stage.

Because voice recognition software is most highly developed for the English language, LiveMap will be introduced first in the US and some other English speaking countries.

The video below tells the story with a look at the people involved and you can see what they've built so far. I'm actually surprised some major helmet manufacturer hasn't done this already, the technology seems to be there, it's really a matter of bringing it all together, not a simple task, but manageable for the right team.

Maybe LiveMap will do it first with a system that really works, many others have certainly tried, someone will eventually get it right. Check it out.

Link: LiveMap

Video below:

Comments

  1. JP Kalishek says

    I’m actually surprised some major helmet manufacturer hasn’t done this already, the technology seems to be there, it’s really a matter of bringing it all together, not a simple task, but manageable for the right team.

    Same thought here. I’d have loved this just a bit over a week ago when I took a meandering ride to Memphis and back. I especially like the speed hud. I tend to gather speed as I go and keeping the actual speed in view would help … maybe (~_^)

    I would also want an adjustment on the opacity of the map when stopped.

  2. Bart says

    I don’t get why having all the electronics/batts/wiring/connectors embedded in the helmet is a good idea. Putting the HUD and power supply there makes sense obviously. But its competing with what most riders who would want one of these already has: a smart phone in their pocket with Bluetooth link to a mic and earbud. Just add HUD. Helmets get wet and knocked around, need to be washed inside and out. And upgrading an app to next gen performance is so easy and accepted already. If this doesn’t interface with a smartphone I doubt it will gain much traction as a standalone device.

  3. Hooligan says

    Not for me. I still use paper maps. My mind works out I’m going too fast as it is. Often my route is written on a strip of masking tape stuck the handlebars. This only availible in SOME English speaking countries? Damn you want the Jamaican one. “Ye know ye turn right at de tree man an take it cool, ire”

    • GenWaylaid says

      A few months ago I had a big argument at a party over the need for navigation units in cars. It came down to most people insisting that nav units are absolutely necessary. On the other side were all the motorcycle riders, with the seemingly reasonable argument that you should personally have some idea where you are going when you are on the road.

      • lostinoz says

        The commercial drivers used maps and memory to transport goods across the country for a century without the use of GPS. Ask one of them NOW and they cant even imagine life without one.
        I can get across the country without the use of a GPS city to city, however finding a street or address on a street is MUCH easier now with the use of a GPS. ANY distraction while riding is dangerous, so you must weigh the pros and cons about this technology. pro: the GPS will make you positive about the route and what lane/when to turn. con: people are distracted by the units and sometimes the unit glitches/gives wrong directions (apple maps?) which can be dangerous.
        2000? i understand “new technology” has a price, but I wont be paying it. Much like the original GPS units costing hundreds if not thousands, theyre NOW down to sub 300 prices. Ill wait.

        • Paul Crowe says

          Some of us, and I include myself in this group, are very good with paper maps and general directions. We have the ability to figure out where we’re going, we have spatial abilities that help us “see” where we are and orient ourselves accordingly. Others do not.

          I came late to the GPS party, buying one for my wife when she had to take several business trips in her car, and seeing it operate was a real eye opener. It’s amazing. She uses it a lot, I’ve hardly used it at all, I still rely on a pile of, now aging, paper maps to give me a quick glance at where I need to go. It gives me a sense of pleasure to know I can still navigate with my internal nav system, but in heavy traffic in a congested city, a GPS really helps a lot.

          This LiveMap system is maybe more about the HUD than just the GPS, since it has speed and other info it can put up there, not just directions. I have a hunch if people with little need for this sort of system wait until it’s further developed, we’ll also be amazed at what it can do and might want one in our helmet. too. Maybe not just yet, but eventually.

          As far as distraction, it’s something you’ll probably get used to, just like any other technology

          • lostinoz says

            Living in a large city, and being a CDL driver, I see the issues DAILY about people “used to technology” getting into accidents because theyre not paying attention (for whatever reason) to the road. Just this week, a 20 yr old trying to get to a dentist appointment who was misguided by her GPS ran into the side of our company’s truck. She said she was watching the gps to find a place to turn around, and never saw 75 feet of arctic white semi next to her santa fe. She was unhurt fortunately, however her car is completely destroyed. she was a lucky one. People THINK they can drive fine with the radio and GPS and talking on cell phones while typing up notes on their laptop and drinking their mocha latte, cause theyre “used to it,” the reality is, theyre just a statistic in the making.
            That HUD system in theory is a great idea, but its something youll have to LEARN to look through and not at, just like a tall winscreen on a bike. That learning curve is steep on a bike. Run into the side of a semi, and you wont be as lucky as she was.

      • Greg says

        Gen,
        I agree that you should generally have an idea where you are going. I don’t use a GPS on the bike (Don’t have one anyway) but in my car, my smartphone doubles as my GPS unit. The most important feature is that the Google app shows live traffic conditions. That feature alone makes the GPS/Smartphone indispensable. Living in a major metropolitan area, I can see which route to take when traffic is chaotic.

  4. sfan says

    I am heavily involved in startups, so that part of me cheers these guys on and triggers a variety of business related questions & ideas:
    – What are the lessons from any prior commercial attempts to do this?
    – Are there defensible patents?
    – What are the regulatory approval considerations specific to motorcycle helmet HUD?
    – Will insurance companies allow it? Is there any research to suggest that HUD in a motorcycle helmet increases safety or is a possible distraction? If not, might they encourage it (we have one here in Canada offering discounts in return for actual car driving data: kms, hard accelleration, hard stops)?
    – What is the bill of materials cost at volume production? Is this driving the $2k price point or is that simply margin intended to skim the early adopters and go down to a few hundred dollar premium over the cost of a helmet?
    – Are they in discussions with helmet OEMS? Some kind of strategic investment or OEM channel business model may have stronger prospects than building their own brand and channels.
    – Develop a version racing or something like the Dakar rally and get a professional endorsement/input. Great PR.
    – Consider avoiding large battery pack into the helmet and charge off the bike.
    – Consider running this as a smartphone app platform, rather than building all local logic & hdwr into the helmet. By this I mean that the helmet is essentially just display/audio interface to LiveMap running on the (tethered) phone, which is in term charged from the bike.
    – Find a way to make this operate as much as possible without depending on a cellular data connection.

    I wish the guys well!

  5. says

    No thanks. Having all that in the visor doesn’t do it for me. I would rather spend money on a helmet that has hearing protection built in, good ventilation, and weighs less.

  6. todd says

    why not put a micro wind-turbine generator in one of the air vents. You could probably charge it pretty well that way.

    This is pretty cool. I can’t see me getting one for my regular commute (yes, I already know the way to work and back) but if I was competing in some sort of rallye this would be indispensable.

    -todd

  7. Gary says

    Todd, ditto. Or to the guys doing timed enduros. Do they still call them enduros? Could make poker runs more interesting. All the folks hating the chalk marking the route would be happy.

    • Penectomy says

      Poker run guys dont usually wear helmets but when they do, they certainly don’t have full face visors.

  8. Peter Miles says

    Did you take a close look at the picture captioned “LiveMap basic minimum display for riding at normal speed”? 87 mph! That’s a lot of normal.

  9. B50 Jim says

    Hmmmm… wonder if there’s any old Soviet Air Force technology in there?

    The discussion here centers around technology vs. old-school maps. I prefer a paper map for most riding and driving (it helps to know where you’re going in the first place) but every delivery driver I’ve met swears by GPS. It has real advantages for urban driving. As with any distraction, the driver has to learn to pay attention to traffic as well as the GPS. That doesn’t seem to be the case, however. When I ride I now check to see if drivers are looking down at their devices, and give them plenty of space.

    • Hooligan says

      Remember when the US spent billions on making a pen to work in zero gravity in space, while the Soviets used a pencil.

      • todd says

        Right, but just think of all that graphite powder floating around in the craft. How long before it lodges in your eye?

        -todd

      • anon says

        That’s an urban myth. The United States DID use pencils in space flight, and the government never spent a single taxpayer cent developing a pen that worked in space. Some COMPANY did, and marketed their pens as being suitable for use in space, but NASA never bought them. The engineering of it is pretty trivial at any rate just lightly pressurize the ink reservoir.

  10. Renegade_Azzy says

    My firsts when it comes to a helmet…

    Rating (tested rating)
    Weight
    Fit
    Aerodynamics
    Ventilation
    Noise Level
    Fit
    And… the availability to try on.

    They say they will be available in standard sizes, but no mention of head shape. No mention of weight. Pre-paying $1.5K for a helmet that might not fit, is taller, and because of this, make your head wobble around and induce a blaring whistle when going down the road at 40mph is not my idea of sound financial management.

  11. B50 Jim says

    The Soviets took a direct approach. They didn’t let things like comfort and safety get in the way. If they lost a few Cosmonauts, well, that was the price of progress, sort of the way they approached everything. They had a good run but they ended up on the trash heap of history anyway.

  12. A.C says

    If you think the hud display is too small you should use a bigger reflector mirror to increase the size.

  13. Scott says

    Here’s my take on the Nav system/no Nav system…

    Once upon I time, I worked part time as a firefighter/EMT. As you can imagine, the need for finding a specific address very quickly was part of the job. I had just gotten a new GPS device, and was rolling out of the bay as a third on the ambulance for a particular call. The medic riding shotgun and I decided to race. He was using the old fashioned paper map and beat me to every single turn. My electronic GPS just didn’t pump out the next turn info fast enough. That was probably 2005 or 2006.

    Now that I ride however, I find that there is no one there to call out next turn directions or remind me that my exit is coming up after 150 miles on the same road. It would be nice to not have to pull over to confirm I didn’t make the wrong turn, or just simply not need the confirmation as I’d already be certain.

    While I would be hard pressed to believe anyone that told me that a Nav system was mission critical, I’d be equally disinclined to believe someone that said it wasn’t darned convenient!