LiveMap has developed a helmet-mounted optical display GPS controlled by a voice-command system like iPhone’s Siri, according to Cycle World. MSN’s Connected Life reports the inspiration for the system, at least partially, was the helmet used by the comic book and film character Iron Man.
Until recently, this type of technology only existed for military fighter pilots. However, optical display GPS is now available in some newer model BMW automobiles.
As it stands now, GPS navigation systems for motorcycles are not very user-friendly at best and a distraction at worst. The devices are mounted on the motorcycles and the motorcyclist has to take his or her eyes off the road to look down at the GPS display and control it using buttons or a touchscreen.
LiveMap has spent the last five years developing its prototype in-helmet GPS. The system includes a display projector that is mounted within the carbon-fiber shell of the helmet above and behind the motorcyclist’s head. The image projected includes the usual GPS navigation data and is displayed so that the motorcyclist sees the information superimposed on his or her visual field, meaning riders never have to take their eyes off the road to use the system.
In addition, the LiveMap in-helmet GPS display is focused at infinity, which means the motorcyclist does not have to change his or her focus to see it. The system also includes a voice-command feature that allows users to control the GPS by speaking commands into an in-helmet microphone. Plus, the helmet’s carbon-fiber shell already meets all existing safety standards.
LiveMap is currently looking for funding to produce their GPS helmets and hopes to sell the systems for $2000 per helmet.
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Once produced and readily available, LiveMap’s GPS helmets are going to add yet another layer of safety for motorcyclists. Still, while safety innovations such as these lessen the frequency of motorcycle accidents, they will never prevent them altogether.
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[Did You Know?: 10 percent of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.]
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Sources: http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=8&from=en-us_msnhp#/video/94bb1ced-b9c2-499f-8252-646771db8855, http://www.cycleworld.com/2013/07/11/livemap-motorcycle-helmet-mounted-display-navigation-system/, http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html