We’ve seen a lot of hype surrounding the next generation of motorcycle helmets. The likes of SKULLY and Nuviz had gotten us excited, only to end up disappointing with delayed launches and the seeming inevitability of vaporware. But now there’s a new kid on the block and the iC-R could actually be the best of the bunch.
The iC-R (Intelligent Cranium) helmet packs a lot of the same technology that these other products do, but what we like most about it is that it actually seems to make an effort to make these features part of improving rider safety instead of just being there for the sake of it. It includes the usual tricks such as HUD navigation, weather updates and so forth but there’s a few really nice additions that are “Why didn’t they think of that before?” ideas.
Firstly is the rear camera. Although it’s actually two rear cameras which give a total field of view of 210° allowing the rider to see a wider view of what is behind him or her; completely removing the need for the rider to take his or her eyes off the road ahead. It almost eliminates all blind spots.
The greatest innovation however is what is described as interior notification lighting. There are two LED lights (amber & red) that the rider will see at the edge of their vision to act as a warning of cars coming behind from behind. The LED lighting system works in tandem with a warning sound and/or vibration inside the helmet. The soft amber color means “Warning”; which will blink in 2 second intervals when a vehicle gets within 420 ft. This feature is also accompanied by a warning sound and/or vibration (optional) inside the helmet. The red color means “Danger”; which will blink in 1 second intervals when a vehicle gets within 240 ft. Great for every rider who fears being taken out from behind.
There’s a few other unique features as well, including a solar panel on top of the helmet to assist with charging, an open SDK (for custom mobile application development) and an “E-tint” that allows you to turn your visors tint on or off at the flick of a button.
If this comes to fruition, it seems to be the most compelling smart helmet offering so far. If you’re interested in supporting the development of the iC-R, head to the Indiegogo funding page.