According to its press release, NUVIZ is shipping its helmet units (which include Head-Up Display, GPS navigation, and lots of other features) this week.
So-called “smart helmet” technology has been in the headlines of motorcycle magazines for the past few years, with several start-ups rolling out designs for helmets (or helmet accessories) that integrate navigational displays, smartphone integration, onboard cameras and more.
The most prominent of these smart helmets was the Skully; read about its pathetic history here. Announced with much ballyhoo and fundraising, the company imploded with accusations of money spent on strippers and Italian sports cars. Such are the rigours of life in Silicon Valley.
NUVIZ is taking a different approach than Skully, by offering an externally-mounted unit that provides many of the same features: a GPS navigation app, an HD onboard camera, the ability to play music through apps like Spotify and Pandora, and an integrated smartphone app (iOS and Android) that lets users plot routes on their mobile devices, among other things. For now, the only communication possible is through a connected smartphone (telephone calls, etc.), but direct bike-to-bike communication is supposedly coming as an option in the future.
Most interestingly, the NUVIZ has a Heads Up Display (HUD) that is theoretically adaptable to many different helmets. This is both good and bad; it’s good because you can still keep using a high-quality helmet, but utilize the technology anyway. Skully’s pricey technology was built directly into a very cheap helmet, which turned some buyers and industry experts off.
However, the design might be a bad thing in some user’s eyes (no pun intended), as the NUVIZ will no doubt look a bit awkward to some riders. There’s no question that an integrated smart helmet system looks much more graceful than the externally-mounted box.
The NUVIZ is currently selling for $699 US, and is available directly through the company’s website—more details there.