Tech toys come at a price.
There’s a rise in smart all things. Smart motorcycles (autonomous bikes are creepy), smart jackets, and of course, smart helmets. While the biggest names in the protective lid industry have yet to part in the trend, a number of startups have started developing and funding their own projects. One of the latest innovation in the realm of smart lids comes from down under. Australian start-up Forcite teased its MK1 helmet back in May—it is now available for purchase online.
The helmet is an ECE 22.5 and DOT-certified lid wrapped in a carbon fiber shell. The antibacterial lining is removable and washable, and also features an emergency pull tag. There’s a total of eight vents ensure proper airflow and a rear spoiler to improve the shell’s aerodynamics. Now, that’s all pretty standard stuff for a proper helmet. Now about all the tech toys.
The MK1 is equipped with a camera, as well as integrated an audio and communication system with Bluetooth connectivity. The HD 1080 30 frames-per-seconds camera is integrated into the chin guard. For audio, two speakers are located on each side of the head inside the helmet—the system allows you to listen to music, take phone calls, and listen to navigation instructions. While there is no HUD, navigation is possible via audio and using an LED colored light system that flashes instructions to the rider. The light is located on the bottom rim of the visor, inside the helmet, right under the rider’s nose. Different colors mean different things (green is a turn, orange is a warning, blue is weather and read and blue is police) and are meant to help the rider react faster than only using audio.
Technology comes at a price. Forcite has launched its introduction batch that can be purchased with the Founders Edition Pack that includes the “personalized” lid, a t-shirt, a clear visor, handlebar controller, a spare lens for the camera, two anti-fog visor inserts, extended 24-month warranty, a bag for the helmet, and the Forcite Founders membership for life (no mention of what that entails). The package is priced at AU$1,599 (or US$1,055).
When shopping for the helmet, you get to choose between a glossy or matte black finish and pick between a smoked out or iridium visor (included in the package in addition to the clear visor). Only 1,000 helmets will be produced and available for online sales for the time being. As things currently stand, looking through the checkout process, it doesn’t look like the company ships to the United States, something that will hopefully change as production picks up. For our Aussie folks interested in getting their hands on an early model, deliveries are expected to start in December 2019, in time for the austral summer.