Skully had its coming-out get together final week, and whereas the title sadly sounds just like the nickname for any variety of comedian ebook villains — from
Skeletor to the
Red Skull — it’s truly a agency that makes a reasonably unbelievable high-technology bike helmet, with expertise much like Google Glass.
Bikes have lagged automobiles in expertise for a while, however as a result of it’s typically cheaper to implement issues like electrical motors in bikes, and since the necessity is definitely greater, I believe Skully’s AR-1 represents the primary huge step in making bike driving each safer and extra enjoyable. These are two phrases you sometimes do not see collectively when speaking about any motorsport.
I am going to shut with my product of the week: a brand new supertablet from Nvidia referred to as the “Protect.”
The Skully Helmet
The Skully helmet is definitely a reasonably spectacular piece of apparatus. It permits bike riders to work together with expertise whereas retaining their arms on the handlebars and eyes on the street. With the proliferation of smartphones and the shortage of enough enforcement of smartphone legal guidelines in automobiles, there are far too many automotive drivers who aren’t watching what they’re doing.
Two drivers engrossed of their cellphone conversations not too long ago nearly hit me — and I used to be driving a giant black FX35 crossover. They only modified lanes as if I weren’t even there. In a truck, I might survive if I weren’t paying consideration. On a motorbike, I might be lifeless.
Nonetheless, bike riders need to take heed to their tunes and get calls whereas they’re driving, they usually have to make use of GPS techniques as a lot as the remainder of us. In the event that they get distracted, although, and are not aggressively watching out for idiots paying extra consideration to their telephones whereas driving then on what’s round them, there’s a good likelihood they both will not survive and not using a crippling damage — or in any respect.
The Skully AR-1 is provided with a full rear-view digicam and navigation system, very like a automotive, and a heads-up show that provides you info whereas permitting you to maintain your eyes on the street. It funnels calls and music into the helmet, and with current-generation assistants like Siri and Cortana (Microsoft’s higher digital assistant) it’s type of like having Iron Man’s Jarvis at your digital beck and name.
It has an LCD visor that may be lightened or darkened on command, which truly will increase the Iron Man-like expertise.
Your eyes stay targeted on threats rising earlier than and behind you, your expertise is at your beck and name, and also you’d solely want a number of missiles and
repulsor rays, which truly can be fairly helpful on a motorbike, to finish the Iron Man-on-a-bike expertise. It is depraved cool, however it additionally is much safer — and for folk who trip, or have family members they need to see stay complete and alive, I believe this expertise is a must have.
That stated, I can see a variety of methods to enhance the AR-1 over time.
Subsequent-Technology Motorcycle Tech
Digicam expertise is advancing fairly impressively. As an illustration, I’ve put in an
FLIR Pathfinder navy grade infrared digicam on my venture automotive — each as a result of that is what the automotive had in one of many James Bond motion pictures and since it could higher see issues at night time at a distance — like an animal or pedestrian in your path.
When your automotive hits a deer, it may be ugly. When you hit one on a motorbike, it may be lethal — and bikes are way more weak to issues you may’t see than automobiles are. I can think about a future break up show for night time driving with a further infrared digicam going through ahead for night time use to establish issues in entrance of the bike.
One latest enchancment in rear-view cameras is the flexibility to direct it electronically. Kenwood simply began promoting a brand new rear-view digicam, the
CMOS-320 — I’ve two now — that may electronically, not mechanically, change views on demand. It might probably go from straight again, to zoom, to blind-spot view (each instructions) to trying down, which might be helpful in the event you ought to need to see if what you’ve got strapped behind you continues to be there, one thing I’ve truly wished to do on a few events. Applied correctly, this new tech would properly improve the helmet’s capabilities.
Sound expertise has come a great distance in the previous couple of many years. Again in 1982, I purchased a set of
military grade headphones. They’d aspect microphones and amplifiers in-built that each amplified the encircling pure sounds and blocked the ear-damaging studies of a gun.
On any bike, it is typically a sound that warns you of a menace earlier than you may see it — whether or not it is an uncommon engine or tire sound, or somebody approaching from an angle you may’t see. Present generations of those headphones add music and communications to the expertise, and I can see this functionality being constructed into future helmets that may actively clean the annoying and ear-damaging noises and let on this planet round you whereas nonetheless permitting you to listen to your music.
For devices and automobiles, there’s a product referred to as
“Maestro,” made by Idatalink — which apparently nonetheless does not work with any of my automobiles — that may pull info off the automotive and show it graphically for you. That features info like g-force, engine warmth, tire stress, parking sensors, air conditioner controls, and so forth.
Many current-generation bikes additionally output numerous info, a few of which is captured by gauges and a few not. An addition like Maestro may put the vital info on the display that it’s essential to each guarantee you will not break down and, if you’re a “spirited driver” will let you push the bike a bit tougher whereas leaving your eyes on the street.
Lastly a small air bag system to guard your neck higher in a crash. There may be truly a system available in the market immediately,
Hit-Air, that’s constructed into clothes — however the neck brace might be enhanced by integrating the characteristic into the helmet as effectively. Neck accidents leading to paralysis
are more common than you may understand in bike crashes, and an built-in clothes/helmet answer may go a great distance towards making driving far safer. An organization in Spain
has one in the marketplace immediately.
Wrapping Up: Extra Enjoyable
I began out by saying that the Skully AR-1 Helmet is just not solely safer but additionally extra enjoyable — and I’ve left the extra enjoyable half until the top. When you find yourself extra conscious of what’s round you, when you may take heed to your tunes and use GPS so you aren’t getting misplaced and might keep in contact extra simply, your stress degree goes down and you’ll take pleasure in your trip extra.
With out these things, you are attempting to trip when you juggle a cellphone or GPS system, fear about what you are lacking when your cellphone vibrates in your waist, and will get stunned by what you do not see arising quick behind you. (Bikes aren’t the one issues that go quick on the twisties within the hills).
That peace of thoughts means you merely can take pleasure in your trip extra — concentrate on the rhythm gliding poetically by means of corners and blasting down straights, understanding you might be each linked and in management whereas listening to your favourite tune. That’s the way you mix protected and enjoyable into one thing superb — and actually, is there a man who does not desire a helmet like Iron Man’s?
Product of the Week: Nvidia Protect Pill
When you adopted Apple’s monetary report, you noticed that it did surprisingly effectively on PCs and smartphones however not so effectively on tablets. Whereas iPod-like gadgets appear to be gaining renewed curiosity, Apple’s lack of concentrate on iPods is not doing it any favors there, both.
It is not simply Apple — tablets are fairly gentle generally, and Microsoft’s numbers point out PCs out of the blue could also be the place it is at. The complete “PC is lifeless” factor simply could have backfired. One pill that’s stepping out from the iPad-clone pack, although, is Nvidia’s
With an elective customized sport controller and the flexibility to stream high-end video games from the cloud or your PC, plus a K1 superior graphics engine and a really clear design, this product appears effectively suited to of us like me, who prefer to sport on their tablets and nonetheless have battery life left to do different issues.
At US$299 for 16 GB, it’s priced a bit above different tablets in its class, however if you need one thing tuned for gaming, drawing and leisure, this might be the product for you.
You may preorder however not purchase it but, and since I like merchandise that assume a bit out of the field, the Nvidia Protect Pill is my product of the week.