According to the people at TechCrunch, smart helmet startup Skully is about to close down.
Many CMG readers will remember our coverage of Skully’s start-up efforts back in 2013 and 2014. The company initially promised a revolutionary smart helmet, with turn-by-turn GPS routing, smartphone integration, rear-view camera, and a Heads Up Display inside the helmet that relayed all this information to the motorcyclist.
To raise funds (and publicity), they turned to Indiegogo, allowing interested riders to drop down $1,400 US ($1,600 for international orders) in order to reserve a helmet from their first production run. They raised a lot of cash (at least $15 million through various sources), and then … nothing. Rumours swirled that, despite the interesting onboard tech, the helmet itself was a Chinese unit that offered only mediocre protection, and delivery of the helmets met delay after delay.
Then, Skully announced they’d deliver units at end of this month. That news was followed by the update that brothers Marcus and Mitch Weller, who’d helped found the company, were being forced to leave the company by unhappy investors. Then, there were more rumours of unsuccessful buyout attempts, a failure to meet safety standards in the EU, and other unpleasantries.
All the buzz has culminated in TechCrunch’s assertion that Skully is closing down, its website supposed to shut down shortly. If it’s true, it means thousands of customers who pre-paid for a helmet will not receive their high-tech skid lid.
If you care about the story, read more on TechCrunch. If you don’t, then go strap on your old Bell Star, go for a ride, and be kind — don’t laugh at people who spent $1,400-$1,600 on a helmet that didn’t even exist beyond prototype.