Bikesystems Puts BikeHUD Adventure up on Kickstarter

About a year ago we reported on Bikesystems as a developer and manufacturer of the BikeHUD, a motorcycle helmet that includes a head up display (HUD). The idea was to provide the motorcyclist with the necessary information to make riding a bike safer and more enjoyable. Now Bikesystems has come forward with a new development project, the BikeHUD Adventure.

The Bike HUD Adventure is based on a normal motorcycle helmet, but instead of the look around display mounted in the BikeHUD, the company has added a flexible transmissive display on one side. The device now looks much more like a fixed installation of an augmented reality headset, as shown in the image.

From the image, it seems that the imager is sitting directly under the optical combiner that Bikesystems describes as a “unique focusing lens/combiner/beam splitter”. The display part is an HD TFT LCD with fibreoptic LED lighting. The term flexible seems to describe the fact that the optical combiner can be tilted to adjust to the respective user.

The device comes with several modes that allow the user to create the display layout he or she prefers. There is the standard mode and the racing mode. The racing mode is obviously geared towards the racing enthusiast, while the standard mode includes information about the bike, such as speed and tachometer, but also navigation and speed camera warnings.

The system can either connect to the user’s smartphone or to the BikeHUB, an onboard computer system with its own GPS to provide additional functionality. The system can be upgraded through the use of front and rear facing cameras, that can record the ride. There is also the option to show the rear facing camera on the HUD. The cameras are attached to the bike to allow for better and heavier cameras that could not be mounted on the helmet for weight reasons.

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The system looks like a very good upgrade from the existing model. However the UK is first country to speak out against the use of the Google Glass device while driving because of the possible distraction of the driver. This system is very close to what Google Glass does and the display is in a very comparable position. I wonder how this new device will fare with the authorities? While watching a video image from the rear camera can be a safety factor it can also be viewed as a distraction. Maybe it all comes down to semantics?

Bikesystems has opened a Kickstarter campaign and so far has only reached a very small fraction of its £120,000 goal. There are now 23 days to go and if you like the idea, you had better back their project soon. – Norbert Hildebrand