Though I use technology daily, including allowing it to save my ass, I would go full Luddite if the world would let me. Let me touch grass, not screens. But the world moves on and new technology continues to be brought to the public at a rapid pace, with the latest trend being augmented reality (AR). 

AR is pretty easy to understand, as glasses, goggles, or lenses offer up a digital head-up display (HUD) that gives the wearer information about the world around them. Within the realm of RideApart's mission, it may offer things like speed, weather, and GPS navigation, or used by mechanics to understand service intervals, where parts are located, and more, as the automotive company Genesis does.

It has its uses, but I'm not sure the patent for Yamaha's augmented reality motorcycle helmet is one of those. At least not for me. 

Yamaha's patent is pretty interesting, as it follows along with the brand's AR helmet concept from a few years back. However, it thankfully kills the original idea of having only screens facing the rider's eyes, no pass-through lens. 

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It still has rider-facing cameras, four of them, to be exact, but there's a pass-through lens that allows the rider to still see outward in the case that the helmet's battery dies. However, the helmet projects information in the same way a HUD does, relaying information to the rider's eyes. What's interesting about the patent, though, is that it's both for a closed- and open-face helmet, offering the tech seemingly to more riders. 

But I'm just not sure this is a good idea.

I tend to think that motorcyclists want fewer distractions, not more. I get that this would offer up a lot of the same information being relayed from a motorcycle's dash, but without needing to look down to see it, but that's still more things in your sightline. And in a world that doesn't see motorcyclists most days, the fewer distractions the better. At least for me. 

Now, I'm not the arbiter of what would be useful to everyone. There's probably a load of people who'd find this technology useful in their long trips, commutes, or short mountain blasts. It's just not for me or my style of riding.

I go on rides to escape technology and the larger world around me, and I can see how this would follow in Apple's Vision Pro goggles. And I can also see a near future in that you'd likely start to see advertisements that just pop up in your nightlines. Imagine billboards but directly in front of your eyes ala the dystopian graphic novel: Tokyo Ghost.

I don't want that on my motorcycle rides, but I get companies would love captive audiences.  

But what do you all think? Would you consider something like Yamaha's AR helmet or are you in my camp? Sound off in the comments below. 

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