Riding technology beyond that found on the actual motorcycle itself continues to bring cutting-edge science to the saddle. Although certainly not the first to set a high bar for creating a ‘smart helmet’, Japanese company Borderless are certainly the latest to take what has been a bumpy manufacturing ride.
The Kickstarter campaign is to produce CrossHelmet X1, a smart motorcycle helmet that features 360˚ FOV, ambient sound control, and connectivity for maximized safety and experience. Early bird pricing for the crowdfunding campaign starts at $1,399 with an expected retail value $1,799.
The engineers behind CrossHelmet have developed products like the Yamaha MT-09 and the Walkman, and the project has been selected as one of the first to launch on the new Kickstarter Japan platform.
“High accident rates are often caused by low visibility. Our unique technology alleviates this problem by providing a rear camera that displays what is behind you to eliminate blind spots,” said Founder and CEO Arata Oono. “Sound control limits distractions, further enhancing the overall safety of the rider.”
The CrossHelmet X1’s rear camera captures 170° directly behind the driver. It is then combined with a wide-view visor that allows more road-view and peripheral vision, offering 360° visibility.
Loud noises can increase rider stress and fatigue. To address this, the helmet is equipped with CrossSound Control, a patented noise reduction system that is the first of its kind in the motorcycle industry. It uses an algorithm system to filter out sound distractions like road, engine, and wind noise, while maintaining noise cues that are needed for rider safety. The system can also enhance environmental sound as needed.
An accompanying Bluetooth-enabled CrossHelmet app lets users check battery levels, control safety lights, adjust noise settings, and access maps. It is linked to a bifocal, heads up display at the front of helmet showing compass direction, weather, time, and navigation. A group chat feature allows the rider to communicate with multiple people at once, even those without a CrossHelmet. The helmet’s speakers provide high quality music, podcasts/radio, and phone calls.
“We know motorcycle riders want improved safety without compromising experience. We’ve engineered the CrossHelmet X1 to fulfill both demands,” said Oono. “The helmet is aerodynamic, spacious, and comfortable, while providing a 30% larger field of view compared to traditional motorcycle helmets.”
There have been similar promises made for similar smart helmets, some we’re still waiting to come to fruition while others made it to production only to crash in spectacular fashion. With the technology available and the obvious manufacturing will in abundance, it’s a given smart helmets will become standard gear for riders who want them.
The real question, is the going to be helmet to lead that revolution?