Motorcyclists! How often have you been on a journey and got lost? Come off the motorway at the wrong junction? Watched your mate take a turning you didn’t think was right?
For those of us without a TomTom Rider or similar already, here’s a new idea from Skully – a helmet with a brand new Head Up Display system that offers satellite navigation in the corner of your eye to keep you on the right track and take the stress out of finding your way home.
Skully Helmets has developed Synapse, said to be the world’s most advanced motorcycle helmet system. The “carefully optimised display and control system” provides motorcyclists with access to information and assistance when it is needed.
I know many motorcyclists who say that satnav has no place on a ride. Motorcycling for many is about the ride, about the adventure, about the open road and the wind in your hair. I completely get that, and agree in the most part. But having been on long motorcycle tours having to learn instructions off by heart because of not having anywhere to display even a simple printed route (before I got my Scala Rider, not that I’ve used that with the satnav on my phone yet!), I yearn for something that will help take the pressure off and give me even more opportunity to make the most of my journey.
It’s not just about the satnav functionality, either. The Skully AR-1 has an integrated rear view camera system in the lid with a 180 degree viewing angle. Similar to the way maps are displayed in front of you when using the navigation system, the rear view camera feeds video to the HUD to provide you with complete situational awareness. Of course it’s not designed to replace those lifesaver looks as you manoeuvre your motorcycle, but how useful would eyes in the back of your head be?
There is also Bluetooth pairing and voice control, allowing you to control the helmet interface via your phone. You can control music, send texts, make calls, and change your destination in the navigation system all hands-free, which has got to be so much easier than trying to use a phone just before you set off while wearing gloves.
The Skully AR-1 appeals to my hunger for new and shiny things. I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s not only that, though; I can genuinely see how a HUD would be of benefit to a motorcyclist. I have questions about whether a screen in front of a motorcyclist is such a good idea – how distracting might it be – but I will need to wait to read reviews of the first people to try it out before I make judgement on whether I would actually want to own one, and whether the benefits are significantly better than those I get from my Scala Rider G9.
Skully are currently looking for beta testers for the AR-1. I signed up a few weeks ago and now am waiting to hear if they like me enough to send me one. To be honest I don’t hold out much hope, being in the UK and all, but I did remember to let them know I’m over in San Francisco in the summer and so could pick one up then! Worth a try!
What do you think to the idea? Do you think a HUD providing you with satnav and other information would be useful? Is it dangerous? Just a gimmick? Would you buy one?