It may not have the capability to track multiple targets like Iron Man's helmet.
But judging by the buzz the Skully AR-1 is generating, it's even better.
Who would have thought that a simple safety gear like the helmet, which essentially has one function - to protect your head in a crash - can stir so much interest in the motorcycling fraternity.
It says a lot when US-based Skully, founded by Mr Marcus Weller last year, managed to raise more than US$1.3 million (S$1.6 million) when it needed only US$250,000 to fund the project. I suspect it is because the AR-1 offers possibilities for bikers.
Just look at its cool features. The "third eye", by way of a tiny wide-angle lens camera at the back of the AR-1, ensures that no vehicle can sneak up behind you unannounced.
Capabilities like Bluetooth connection, hands-free mobile calling, noise-cancelling audio, music streaming and even Internet access are built into the 1.7kg AR-1.
Perhaps the cherry on the cake is the helmet's heads-up display (HUD).
Your eyes do not need to refocus to see the GPS navigational maps on the HUD. They are always in focus even when you look far into the bend ahead, Skully claims.
It's all part of the tech explosion. Advances include a dizzying array of features like traction control, ride modes, anti-lock brake system and electronic throttles. Having said all that, I can't help but wonder if we are being overrun by too much technology.
It worries me when some riders boast about owning the smartest bikes or the most function-filled navigational gadgets, when what we should really be focusing on are riding skills, instincts and the road ahead.
While technology is unavoidable, some purists would argue that having a smart helmet - which costs US$1,300 - would be a dumb idea if the fundamentals of motorcycle riding are ignored by a rider.
I could be wrong, but maybe the answer to safer riding on our busy roads lies in keeping things simple. Only time will tell.
OTHER SMART FEATURES
Internet via smartphone
Sync updates via smartphone
Built-in GPS system
Wide-angle lens for rear camera
Open software development kit allows you to develop your own apps for SKULLY Synapse
Anti-glare, anti-fog, anti-scratch and uses an adaptive liquid crystal technology, e-Tint, that responds to varying lighting conditions
Ultra wide-angle rear view camera
Vision Enhancement shows a high-quality image of the rear view in wide panoramic angle
Smart heads-up display system with infinite focus
Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation
Quick release for chin strap and visor
Lightweight aerodynamic polycarbonate
DOT and ECE safety certifications
The Department of Transportation (DOT) (US) and the Economic Community of Europe (ECE) ratings are the most widespread helmet standards internationally
'Outlast' lining reduces perspiration by 70 per cent
3D laser-cut foam for a perfect fit email@example.com
This article was first published on August 26, 2014.
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