Smart helmets are becoming a thing in the motorcycle industry, but has anyone been able to wrap their head around the concept yet? FortNine’s video illustrates why the concept is “so dumb,” except for one product which is a great helmet on its own, made better by some useful baked-in tech.
Most experienced motorcyclists will still take a traditional helmet over a smart one and slap on a Cardo, Sena, or any other communications device to give their lid some modern features and other functions. Personally, I’d much rather put my head in a helmet that was only designed to be a helmet, then slap on the smart stuff later but even then it’s not so clear cut.
Several startups and some established brands have been pushing for smarter and smarter helmets throughout the years. From Skully, to Nuviz, to Sena, and most recently, Forcite, the sky is the limit for now since no company has yet to define what standard features a smart helmet should have except maybe for one that’s on the right track.
One of the first stops in the smart helmet journey is Skully, whose helmet was a bit of a misstep due to the fact that the brand wasn’t managed in a “smart” way. The heads up display (HUD) was a novel concept back then, and it’s something that a bunch of other brands is trying to get a go at.
Then we have Nuviz, who decided to forgo making the helmet entirely and instead focused on making the part that makes a smart helmet smart. Similar to how you’d put a comms device on your lid, this attachment was stuck to the side of your helmet, but it was otherwise a clunky, bulky, and heavy accessory. Unfortunately, Nuviz is no more.
Then Sena’s Smart Helmet made a brief appearance. FortNine covered it in a previous video stating that the quality of the helmet was lacking and that it was overpriced and not “smart” enough. Not enough helmets, not enough “smart,” which leads us to Forcite.
Forcite’s quite new to the motorcycling world which makes it a pleasant surprise that the company’s smart helmet actually looks like a standard motorcycle helmet. That’s because the brand was able to get a manufacturer that actually has legs in the industry and the result is a good-looking carbon fiber shell. Forcite’s on the right track to making a feasible smart helmet, not because it is actually the “smartest” of the bunch, but because it’s a great helmet on its own. The key takeaway, smart helmets have to be helmets first!