In addition to bringing its highly connected concept car to CES, BMW also showed off a HUD helmet that syncs with its ConnectedRide platform delivering a plethora of information right into the face of riders. While it's extremely unlikely it'll ever become available for cycles from other manufacturers, owners of two-wheeled BMWs might want to take notice.
The connected helmet delivers up speed, current gear, turn-by-turn directions, notifications of changing road conditions, phone calls and other rider location to the right eye of the wearer. While it seems like information overload, BMW told Engadget that the rider could place as much or as little information as they want on the screen and that the goal is increased safety.
BMW isn't the only company working on a helmet with a heads up display. Startup Skully has developed its own solution for riders that don't want to take their eyes off the road while on their bikes.
The demo available at CES involved sitting on a stationary bike in front of a screen, so not a real-world scenario, but the placement of the translucent information on the clear display that goes over the right eye never seemed to impede what was happening on the road ahead. While the video showing off the technology shows the text in white, the demo I used the same green tint found on the computers that made the game Oregon Trail famous. It was sharp but not overbearing.
At startup, the helmet checks the bike's status and alerts you if you're low on oil, gas or if there are issues with your tire pressure. It'll also ping the rider if those items become an problem while riding.
It syncs with the company's connected bikes and can be controlled via a circular controller on the left handlebar grip. The bike itself connects to a the rider's smartphone to for internet access and to ping the company's cloud server with your current location. The BMW servers delivers alerts about changing road conditions like traffic and upcoming construction zones directly to the helmet's display.
The two removable batteries on the back of the helmet offer up six hours of display action. The helmet also has front and rear cameras. The front camera acts as an action-cam. BMW is still determining if they want to rear camera to become a rearview mirror or used as a blind spot alert.
What is apparent is BMW's enthusiasm about the helmet. It said it's already working on the helmet and has a "huge desire" to bring it to its customers.