Finally, A Smart Helmet For Canadian Riders (Almost)

smart helmet
Check out these angles of the Forcite MK1S. Note the camera down in the chin area. Recording your ride has never been easier.

Ever since plans for the first smart helmet prototypes started floating around the Interwebz, many riders have been keen to get their hands on this technology. A helmet that provides built-in speakers, microphone and video camera, with a heads-up display for navigation assistance, and warning of unsafe road conditions? Sounds like something from Akira. But this is something that’s very doable with today’s technology—and finally, there’s a smart helmet that should be fairly easy for Canadians to buy.

This week, Forcite brought its MK1S smart helmet to market in the US, through a new website that sells and ships direct to consumers—in the US. Too bad. But remember that 90 percent of Canada’s population lives within an hour of the border, and a lot of us have postal boxes or other parcel services in the US. Many Canadian riders have already been shopping in the US for years.

What’s the Forcite MK1S about?

When Skully came to market in the mid-2010s, it set a bad pattern for early smart helmet manufacturers, with a lot of hype and promise, followed by crowdfunding that failed to deliver product to consumers. That’s not Forcite. Forcite started business at roughly the same time as Skully, but it’s already delivered thousands of its MK1 and MK1S helmets to customers in overseas markets. The brand started in Australia, and it’s sold helmets there, and in Asia, for years.

The MK1S comes with Harman Kardon speakers built into the carbon-fiber shell, delivering premium sound. Riders can take calls or listen to music through this helmet, and a pair of built-in mics means callers will be able to tell what you’re saying if you’re on the phone while riding.

There’s also a built-in video camera in the helmet’s chin area. It only offers 1080p 60 fps recording capability, but that’s good enough for YouTube. Forcite made the camera as part of a replaceable pod, so if you manage to somehow destroy it, it’s easy to switch it out without having to get a whole new helmet. Smart! It’s also supposed to be racetrack-friendly, as it doesn’t protrude, but with a DOT rating, many trackdays will look askance at this helmet.

These are features you can do with existing helmets and add-on components, though. It’s the HUD that sets the Forcite apart. Paired to a proprietary app, an LED display inside the helmet gives riders navigation cues, making it easier to safely navigate unfamiliar territory or avoid hazards. It’s designed to be sleek, and to be safe, and frankly, it’s the most sensible smart helmet HUD we’ve seen yet.

You can find more details at the Forcite website here, where you’ll also see pricing that starts at $1,099 USD for the helmet alone. Ouch. But if you pay up, your helmet will be delivered to a US address within five days, which is a lot more than can be said for the other smart helmets that have come and gone over the past decade.


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