Motorcycle Helmet Heads Up Displays Will Go Mainstream

CycleCyte heads up display

CycleCyte heads up display with artificial horizon and weather warning, plus voice activation

We've already had stories on The Kneeslider about one company or another developing a HUD (heads up display) for motorcycle helmets. Notices about new crowdfunding campaigns for these systems show up now and then, the latest one is for a helmet unit called CycleCyte. It is an app for your smartphone which projects the display into your line of sight and, with a bit of development, could work just fine.

HUD will be standard in high end helmets

With technology moving as fast as it is, I'm going to make a prediction, heads up display systems will become standard in high end helmets. If individuals and small groups of talented people can design and build functional displays, it's only a matter of time before a major company with solid funding will offer one for sale. Whether one of these small groups does it really well and gets bought by a manufacturer or licenses their tech to several companies or a manufacturer builds one in house, these are coming in the future.

Some of you have said you think a HUD would be a distraction, but after the novelty wears off, it would be just another input, enabling you to get information from your gauges and a whole lot more without taking your eyes off the road.

Whatever form this technology eventually takes, I think it is guaranteed to be in a helmet before long. I suspect BMW or Honda might be the first to offer it and I would be very surprised if those companies aren't already working hard to be the first.

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Comments

  1. Greg Jetnikoff says

    I would love a good HUD display helmet ( I would like on in the car as well on the windscreen) that worked consistantly. If you want an idea of how it works, try a flight simulator computer game with a “hud”. It is not only not distracting, but becomes a constant source of useful input. Most current motorcycle instruments become very hard to read in some light conditions ( and on my BMW F800R ALL light conditions ). LCD displays are very hard to read if you wear glasses for reading and for all users when off axis.
    My worry is that for glasses wearers they may not work ( me) and the effect of water droplets on the visor, both inside and out.

  2. Christian says

    oh my heart just leapt with excitement when I saw the headline
    Typically I think this sort of “lifestyle gadgetry” is unnecessary
    e.g. Google Glass absolutely ridiculous
    but in a MOTORCYCLE HELMET…
    the possibilities..

    - different themes (colors, sounds, layouts) to fit different bikes and individual riders.. like customizing your laptop’s settings…

    - projection of GPS, so many options; mario-kart style “overall progress” map, as well as overlayed left and right turn arrows for upcoming turns

    - status meters for bike, especially on high-end next generation electronics packages – rev meter, gas meter, tire pressures, suspension travel for front and rear..

    - watching the sopranos while commuting (lol)

    - etc

    - :D

  3. J. Smith says

    any info on (future) legality of this technology? seems to me like in lots of places google glass which seems to have some similar functions is illegal (or being considered to be) while driving.

    I think the interface would have to be very minimal and without the user’s ability to modify the content for it to be legal. you know it’s just a matter of time before some jackass will display the game of thrones inside his helmet on a commute :D

  4. Paul Crowe says

    There would be very little technological innovation, perhaps none at all, if everything with the potential for misuse was deemed illegal.

  5. says

    If you are interested, take a look at our website, or consider prepurchasing through our campaign. Thanks for your supportive comments.

    -CycleCyte

  6. Greg Jetnikoff says

    Artificial horizon is very useful in an aeroplane and not very useful on a motorcycle.
    The legality issues can be avoided by ONLY displaying information relevant to the riding. Speed, fuel consumption, fuel left , trip distance. temperature and oil pressure warnings, air temp if desired ( eg ice possibility) ,GPS directions etc. Those sort of things. And make it switchable from the bars. GPS could be incorporated in/on the helmet.
    Having to not remove you eyes from the road refocus then move them back to the road and refocus MUST be safer than current instrument method. Especially if the HUD uses infinity focusing so there is no need to refocus for those of us who need 2 pairs of glasses.

  7. MrDefo says

    I can’t pose this question on the crowdsourcing site without contributing or logging in so I’ll ask here – the CycleCyte says that the smartphone is mounted in the helmet. I’d like to know where this is mounted, and whether or not this arrangement has been DOT approved because really, that sounds like a recipe for disaster if it is not done correctly.

  8. Doug West says

    There is also the Skully which came out last year.

    Automobiles are being manufactured which interface with your smart phone. The motorcycle makers would be well advised to begin adding a bluetooth interface to their motorcycles to interface not only with smartphones, but with the HUD devices as well.

    I’d love to have this so that I don’t have to glance away from my line of travel to check my rpm or speed indicators on the dash, regardless of how easy or not it is to read them under the given light conditions.

    Also, I’d love to have the HUD device interface with my phone, either through a motorcycle interface or directly, so that I can view incoming calls before deciding if I should answer or not.

    And an interface with my GPS displaying as on overlay or an oblique bird’s eye of my route so that I can envision what’s coming up quickly and what’s just around the corner or over the horizon.

    Need input! (Sorry…)

  9. Doug West says

    The only thing the HUD device does is take all the information from the already existing disparate devices located all around the triple clamp and aggregate them in a (hopefully) intuitive display on the visor. How can this be worse than having to redirect your eyes away from the lane of travel to the various devices as you re-calibrate your mind to accept the different input method. This at least reduces the visual input methods to two: the immediate route and the HUD interface.

    I’m sure if the rider wanted less input that the overlays could be reduced to NOT show the GPS, the phone, the weather, etc. and leave only what the rider felt was important at that point in the ride.

  10. Doug West says

    Personally, I’d also love to have these devices interface with each other like some ski goggles with HUDs do, or like the inter-bike communication devices. Then if a fellow rider went down I could know quickly and where. Or, if I was more of a hooligan, I could compare my riding with my fellow bikers during some canyon carving.

    I suppose that there is no way to quickly flag gravel or other road debris to fellow riders though … unless the device could read a toe point and flag that on the GPS … hmmmm.

Let us know what you think