In April, 2022, we first laid eyes on Shoei’s Opticson heads-up display helmet prototype. The helmet maker brought the prototype lid to the 2022 Osaka Motorcycle Show, so that attendees could get an up-close-and-personal look at it from multiple angles.
For those unfamiliar, the Shoei Opticson prototype HUD helmet looks like a conventional full-face helmet, but has some key differences. There’s a vertically-adjustable display piece that sits just in front of the rider’s right eye. There’s also a projection unit that’s neatly hidden away inside the chin bar. It communicates with your smartphone using Bluetooth, and projects navigation instructions onto the display pane located in front of your right eye.
Why are we telling you about it again in November, 2022? That’s because Shoei is offering a limited number of Opticson helmets for sale in Japan, exclusively through its Shoei Gallery locations. There are currently three such locations in Japan: Shoei Gallery Tokyo, Shoei Gallery Osaka, and Shoei Gallery Yokohama. The price for the limited-release Shoei Opticson will be 137,500 yen, or about $979. Two colors will be available: Luminous White, or Matte Black.
Gallery: Shoei Opticson HUD Helmet
To be clear, that price is only the price of the helmet by itself. Shoei will be selling the battery separately, for an additional 11,000 yen (or just over $78). Initial sales will only be available through Shoei Gallery locations, starting on December 17, 2022. Shoei advises that it will likely offer the Opticson in other locations in the future, but that information will come at a later date.
To use the Shoei Opticson helmet, riders will be required to subscribe to a Japan-only motorcycle navigation app called Touring Supporter. To be more specific, they’ll need to activate the Premium Plus subscription tier, which runs either 800 yen a month or 8,000 yen per year (about $5.70 per month to $57 per year).
An ambient light sensor adjusts the brightness of the display in cooperation with the ambient light around riders while they’re wearing the Opticson helmet. Users can also utilize five different brightness settings to suit their needs and preferences. In addition to the HUD, the Opticson also comes with speakers and a microphone installed, and the helmet is functional in all the ways you’d expect from a regular Bluetooth communications-equipped helmet. Phone functionality, voice control, and music streaming are all possible using the Opticson system.
To aid in keeping your visor fog-free, Shoei is equipping its CNS-1 visor with its in-house anti-fog sheet, called Drylens. This comes fitted as standard on the Opticson helmet, along with Shoei’s proprietary Emergency Quick Release System.
As of November 17, 2022, Shoei has not announced any plans to release Opticson in markets outside Japan. If and when the company announces any such plans, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.