Motorcyclists will no longer have to rely on maps or GPS systems, both of which require riders to take their eyes off the road, once a new Russian smart helmet goes on sale this summer. Jim Drury reports.
The perils of navigating while on a motorbike are obvious......drivers can't read maps, while looking at a satnav means taking their eyes off the road. So Russian engineers have invented LiveMap - a GPS helmet which displays simple navigation tips on the visor. CEO Andrew Artshchev got the idea from fighter pilot technology. SOUNDBITE (Russian) CEO OF LIVEMAP, ANDREW ARTSHCHEV, SAYING: "I learnt about the concept of aviation helmets and decided to create a civil motorcycling helmet on that model, which would show not target detection for pilots, but navigational information - to turn right or left and so on." The android-based lightweight helmet contains GPS and voice control. Its heads-up translucent display system allows riders to access navigational information without looking away from the road. SOUNDBITE (Russian) CEO OF LIVEMAP, ANDREW ARTSHCHEV, SAYING: "This is a prototype of the visor. The image is received from here (POINTS TO LENS) to the visor and is reflected to the human eye. This is also the optics (POINTS TO LENS). The Pico Projector (mobile projector) is located here (POINTS TO BACK OF LENS) and the electronics are behind it." LiveMap was developed with a quarter of a million dollar grant by the Russian Ministry of Science. The final version will be unveiled in the US in May, and go on sale in August, costing 2,000 dollars each.