Jan 23, 2016

Heads Up Display Contest

Being an avid motorcyclist and instructor, I've always been interested in technology that can help keep us safer on the roads. Of particular interest has been the recent boom in helmet technology. I've heard people already saying that adding this technology will be more distracting to the rider. But, like anything, if it's used properly, it will actually make the rider safer.

Skully first caught my attention with their helmet. There's probably some debate on whether they were the first "smart" helmet or not. They've probably been the most vocal and most successful in getting their helmet recognized and to market. They've combined some neat technology, like 180° rear view, navigation and voice commands.

Next on my radar was Fusar. I was pretty excited about their technology and actually got close to being a beta tester with them. Follow up discussions said they had issues with the company they hired to assist with their beta program and it didn't go as they expected. In the end, they approached the "smart" helmet a little differently. They're giving you an action camera with some additional, cool features; like navigation, communications and an emergency response system. I really like the idea of the emergency response system because, when it detects a crash, will alert emergency responders as well as your loved ones.

Others that have gotten a little attention from me include NUVIZ, BikeHUD and LiveMap. All add their own twist on helmet technology and attempts to make the rider safer.

The latest to throw their hat into the ring, and probably most exciting is BMW. Most exciting because a big name, with money and staying power, is making its way into the "smart" helmet market. To me, this means others will follow.

BWM is working with DigiLens to make the heads up display. DigiLens has an extensive background in optical displays, which lends itself well to BWM's application in a HUD helmet. Better yet, instead of either or both companies going off on their own and developing what they think will be the best HUD for a motorcyclist, they're opening up a design contest for anyone to submit their ideas. It's not to say they couldn't or wouldn't be able to design an awesome system; it's that they're open to soliciting ideas from the ends users.

So, here's your chance to tell them what you think. Head over to the DigiLens contest site and design your own HUD. They give you three scenarios and many options to add to the display.

What can you come up with? Here are my designs.