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Navigation on a motorcycle trip can sometimes be a hassle and it almost seems easier to just get lost. If you’re going old school with a map, you have to completely stop and unpack the ratty old map that you keep in your saddlebags and hope it doesn’t blow away in the wind. Maps just don’t cut it for motorcyclists in this day and age. The introduction of handheld GPS units and smartphones with GPS capabilities was a step in the right direction. But before they had the ram mounts for those devices, you still had to pull over or risk fumbling with it down the road, putting yourself in danger. If you do have your GPS in a mount, you still have to take your eyes off of the road to see where you are going on the device. All of these problems could be resolved with a new Russian design called LiveMap.
LiveMap is a Russian designed prototype of a helmet that would incorporate Heads-Up Display, or HUD. This is the same technology that is used in fighter pilot helmets and high end cars. All of the information that the rider would need would be displayed onto the shield of the helmet. The information would, of course, not be obstructive, but rather transparent and at a size that will not block your vision. The size of the info that is displayed will also change with the speed; the faster you go, the smaller the print.
The helmet will feature a microphone for voice activated controls. The rider will be able to tell the helmet the destination and then the directions will appear on the screen. The display will also show the speed that you are traveling so you will very rarely have to take your eyes off of the road. LiveMap is hoping to reduce as many distractions as possible for motorcyclists.
This space-aged idea is not that far off from being available. The designer plans to have a U.S. version available by the middle of 2014. The helmet will meet U.S. DOT standards as well as Japanese and ECE standards. The project is currently being crowd sourced at Indiegogo, but has also received a $1 million grant by the Russian government. You can currently pre-order a helmet for yourself for a price of $1500, which actually is not completely ridiculous compared to some higher end helmets without the technology.
For the grass roots guys who love the open road and go where the wind takes them, this idea is probably worthless and just an expensive cause of helmet hair. For the adventure style rider, this helmet could, quite literally, be a lifesaver by keeping the rider’s attention on the road. Tell us your thoughts on this new technology in the comments.
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