Digital displays and smartphones have it incredibly easy to find directions while on the go, such as in the middle of a motorcycle ride. However, constantly looking down to access a map is not very practical and can sometimes be dangerous. An easier method is to view the information in the center of the rider’s field of vision, which Russian startup Livemap aims to provide with their futuristic helmet for motorcyclists.
The helmet, which is constructed from carbon fiber, checks in at 1.4kg. The helmet looks like something out of a sci-fi film, allowing wearers to access directions right in front of their face as they drive. Using pre-loaded maps, which the company says can be regularly updated, the wearer will be able to view images that are projected onto the visor from the back of the helmet. It is designed to be as little of a distraction as possible and the device offers simple directions (as well as the speed of the bike and battery level for the helmet) during the typical ride, as well as a more complete map when the wearer has slowed to an appropriate speed. As the device is hands-free, wearers can control it through the helmet’s microphone and receive information from the speakers.
Those looking to get their hands on a Livemap helmet will have to pay a pretty penny to do so, as the product is being offered to early backers for $1,500 and will then go on sale for a cool $2,000. While the company initially aimed to being rolling out the product in late 2014, an update on their website from December 2014 revealed that they are now shooting for a summer 2015 launch in the United States.
Despite not having yet released a product, Livemap has some pretty solid financial backing. On one hand, founder Andrew Artishchev tells me that the company boasts $1 million in backing from another of his startups, Posture Master. On the other, Artishchev says that they have another $1 million in backing from hi-tech funds supported by the Russian government.
It is not often that we come across startups who employ engineers who have extensive experience developing technology for the Russian military. Artischev says that their engineering team boasts more than 30 years of combined experience in developing helmets for use in Russian planes and helicopters, as well helmet-mounted displays for use in the International Space Station, so it is safe to say that these guys know what they are doing in terms of technology.