GoPro To Manufacture Moto Smart Helmets


It looks like we’re a lot more likely to see common and affordable smart helmets for motorcycles, with the recent announcement that GoPro is about to enter the market after purchasing Forcite.

Wait, what’s a smart helmet?

A motorcycle smart helmet integrates technology such as GPS navigation, a video camera, telecom capability and more. Most smart helmet designs have a heads up display on the inside of the visor, showing directions, speed and other information to riders. Most have some sort of crash detection feature as well, that notifies emergency contacts if you have a crack-up.

The struggle to introduce smart helmets has been long, with some serious missteps along the way—particularly the Skully saga, where the much-hyped startup collapsed under its initial owners, with accusations of gross misspending in follow-up lawsuits. The wildest accusations were later retracted, and a new buyer did produce a few helmets, but Skully became a byword for a lot of moto-tech that followed.

Who’s Forcite?

In a sea of failed smart helmet start-ups, Forcite is one of very few that’s actually released a product to consumers, and one of very few that’s managed to stay in business over more than a few months. Forcite launched its MK1 smart helmet in Australia in 2021 (that’s where it’s based). Since then, it hit the North American market in 2023, distributed through Tucker Powersports distribution. According to their PR, its carbon-fibre MK1 helmet has:

  • A proprietary road alert and in-helmet, peripheral LED display that communicates route information and turn-by-turn directions to the rider, with no need to look away from the road ahead.
  • High-end audio with Harman Kardon speakers and a dual microphone designed specifically for Forcite’s motorcycle environment.
  • Built-in action camera with 1080p resolution, low-light capability and a Sony IMX sensor.

Asking price in the US was a $1099.99 MSRP for 2023.

What’s coming next?

GoPro is a massive company, so putting its resources into Forcite should mean a lot of growth for the smart helmet maker. Forcite was a small company with limited resources, while GoPro already has distribution deals all over the world that it can leverage. In the months to come, expect to see your local dealer advertising that they can order smart helmets.

As part of the plan forward, we’ll see a line of GoPro-branded helmets; maybe the Forcite brand will live on as well, and maybe it won’t. GoPro does say it intends to license its helmet technology to other manufacturers as well, so we can expect smart helmet tech to spread further in the years to come.

Will that make motorcyclists’ lives safer or better? For some, the added tech will be welcome, while others will continue to roll around in their beanies with fake DOT stickers while complaining about safety laws…

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