September 17, 2020 2 min read
An Australian smart helmet promising to warn riders of police, road hazards and traffic has sold out in Australia ahead of a global debut stifled by the coronavirus.
Forcite claims riders can “know everything” with the help of electronic foresight. Drawing in data from traffic apps such as Waze, the helmet can warn customers of trouble ahead with flashing lights mounted inside its chin bar, near the rider’s top lip. Ear-mounted speakers can provide navigation cues.
The helmet-mounted lights flicker to the left or right if a rider should turn, glow blue if inclement weather is on the way, and flash blue and red to warn of police ahead.
The company says customers will “know where speed traps and potential police are”.
“Know if the road is dangerous. Know what’s happening before it happens,” says a pitch on its website.
A high-definition camera mounted below the visor allows riders to record incidents on the road or track. In the event riders need to delete video footage in a hurry, Forcite’s facebook page says the helmet has a “mass clearance function to quickly free up bulk memory space”.
Originally envisioned by University of New South Wales graduate Alfred Boyadgis as a Robocop-like device to make police safer on the road, the helmet has attracted a following among high-performance motorcycle riders.
The first batch of 1000 special-edition helmets finished in carbon fibre sold out for $1,599. The next are set to go on sale later this year for $1299, before the company takes its product overseas propelled by cash fund manager Atlas Advisors Australia and university investment fund Uniseed.
Mr Boyadgis told start-ups website Bullpen in April Forcite had the edge on rival smart helmet products as it already had helmets in production and was “working with the bike manufacturers”.
The company was expected to announce collaborations with manufacturers at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan this year, before the trade show was cancelled due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
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