At EFTM HQ we received an interesting product announcement today, about a smart connected motorbike helmet. It’s called the Forcite MK1 and I’ll let you be the judge on some of its claimed merits, because I’m not completely sold, yet.
The helmet is certainly sleek and apparently ultra-light. But it’s what’s inside the helmet that gives it brains to protect yours. It’s said to be packed with Artificial Intelligence. Via thousands of data points gathered from multiple sources it can form a picture of your type of bike, GPS location, the weather, traffic and road conditions.
All this data is updated during your ride every millisecond. That information is then sent to a server and accessed via an App.
The idea is to become aware of what’s around the next corner before you do. Now this is when I get slightly put off by the brand’s following statement:
“You’ll know where the police are. Know the road surface ahead. Know where to go and when to turn to avoid traffic. You’ll know where to park, where your mates are, and even which pub has Happy Hour. In short, you’ll know everything you need to know to be safe, stay safe and arrive home safely.”
That’s all well and good but do we really want riders to know where the cops are? And should we be pointing riders towards happy hour and the pub? The app Waze does offer the whole find a cop thing and I’ve used it for that very reason. But the above statement still doesn’t sit well with me.
That aside, there’s some pretty cool tech jammed into the Forcite MK1. A system called RAYDAR uses Formula 1 inspired LED technology, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handle-bar controller into a smart, seamless and sensory rider experience.
There’s no HUD on the Forcite, unlike some others. CEO and Founder Alfred Boyadgis says,“HUD’s are a dangerous distraction. They impede your vision and are hard to interpret, especially at speed”,
“So, we solved that.”
Inside the helmet is an array of LED lights that visually tell you what’s doing. For example, flashing green tells you to go left and right. Orange is caution. And flashing red and blue? Well, that would be potential police activity around the next corner.
Forcite MK1 helmet also speaks to you like a personal assistant, delivering audible instructions as well.
Co-Founder Jay Chow adds, “It’s always on, always computing, but not a constant interruption.”
“I like to think of the helmet as your co-pilot,” he says.
As you’d expect you can take phone calls and listen to music. The camera starts rolling the moment you put the helmet on your melon. It’s able to record for five continuous hours.
It also features a 166° diagonal field of vision.Outside of the helmet, this is really about a community, with 7,000 people asking to try the helmet and the software in Australia.
“This is about the future, about utilising technology to enhance your ride,” said Jay. “And importantly” continued Alfred, “we wanted the tech to give riders more protection when self-driving vehicles hit the road.”
Power is sourced from two Lithium-Inert batteries, hidden within the foam interior.
All heads are catered for with XL, L, M, S and XS available.
Look, I’m not a bike rider but I personally think the marketing should drop off the find a cop and find a pub selling points.
There will only be a 100 units available at launch, head to Forcite’s Facebook Test Pilots page for info!