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Skully AR-1 Android Motorcycle Helmet Blows Past Funding Goal, Could be the Future

Motorcycle enthusiasts, have you been looking for the future in helmet technology? Skully thinks they have it with their freshly unveiled AR-1 Android-powered helmet that just went live on Indiegogo this morning. The helmet, which has already been given praise by outlets such as Popular Mechanics, Road & Track, Popular Science, and celebrity chef Tyler Florence (wait, what?) blew past its funding goal of $250,000 moments after it went live.

The helmet is powered by Android behind-the-scenes, includes a heads-up display that can show you information as you ride (like turn-by-turn navigation), an ultra-wide angle rear camera, and connects wirelessly to your phone. Thanks to Bluetooth, you can listen to music through your phone and even place hands-free calls. 

On a motorcycle front, the helmet is DOT/ECE certified, has a fog, scratch, and glare resistant visor, interchangeable padding inserts, and should be light enough for all riders.

The AR-1 starts at $1399 and comes in either matte black or gloss white. If you want a signed or international version, the price goes up from there.

As I already mentioned, the campaign to make this project a reality has already blown past its funding goal of $250,000. As I write this post, the AR-1 stands at just over $591,000, which is up over $20,000 from when I first started writing this. I think it’s safe to say that this should become a success, assuming Skully can get the product out the door in a timely manner.

Indiegogo Link

  • CGDaveMac

    Gotta pre-order before the campaign ends! If this is anything like other Kickstarter/Indiegogo project, shipping times will only get longer if you’re not in on the pre-orders. http://igg.me/at/skully/x/8465808

  • anon23

    omg please make a snowboarding helmet I NEED DIS

    • Courtney Allinder

      Oakley makes goggles with hud.

  • justaddh3o

    Ok, sidebar…why am I not able to fullscreen this embedded video? Is it my broswer (chrome), flash, the way the video was embedded, anything else? I’ve googled but can’t seem to fix this.

    • terrorist96

      Click the title of the video at the top, it’ll take you to youtube. From there you can full screen it.

      • justaddh3o

        Thanks for the reply. File it under first world problems, but I’d rather not have to do so. Especially from within an rss reader. It kinda defeats the point.

  • kevinh52

    If anyone is going to buy a Skully, Go to link below to try to get it Free…
    http://redd.it/2da99w

  • kevin

    If anyone is purchasing one and would love to help out, please use the referal link below!
    http://igg.me/at/skully/x/8411465

  • leDerp

    So basically, what people need to develop here is a faceshield bendable sticker (made of OLED?!) that can give you tid bits of information and would fit your CURRENT helmet.

  • Michael Evans

    $1200 google glass + $300 helmet = Skully

  • jim

    would not wear that pos if you gave it to me , I hates helmets period , but that is huge and ugly

  • Aardvark99
    • subiedude85

      I didn’t think anyone else remembered that movie lol.

  • jim

    doubt you will any Harley rider , including me wearing that thing , that’s just butt ugly

    • BrainDamage

      Looks like someone hit their head one to many times when crashing their bike.

  • Vishal Khedkar

    Welcome to the future!

  • accumack

    The shield seems like it will be expensive to replace being electronic darkening. Also the hud is very distracting unless you’re riding straight roads or highways. I wouldn’t want the distraction on the twisty roads that I ride.

    • JT3

      I think it’s just something to get used to. It’s like saying that the rear-view mirror in a car is distracting. It can be at first, but eventually you just learn to use it without thinking. I’ve driven cars with HUDs, and for the first 20 minutes it seems like that’s all you can see, but you quickly learn to integrate it, and eventually to miss it when it’s not there. This is probably no different.

      …and I would love to get that Electronic Darkening visor for my current helmet. C’mon, somebody… who wants my money? Make it happen!

  • Gregory Sewell

    Planning on getting a bike in a few weeks. I was just wondering two days ago that it’s going to suck not having music or navigation when I’m riding. PROBLEM SOLVED!! Hope I’m able to get one of these.

    • JMonkeYJ

      There are lots of solutions for getting audio in your helmet, from just wearing earphones to bluetooth earpieces (Sena makes some good ones). Personally I wouldn’t recommend getting a new, untested/unknown helmet like this one, but I might just be conservative. Also many brands of helmet have fit issues with my head.

      • jim

        the sound of a Harley is music , don’t need anything else

  • Justin Kos

    I’ve been riding for a few years, Kawasaki zx6r. IMO a heads up display would be rather bothersome for me as there’s enough I have to think about when I’m riding. Be that city roads or twisties

    • Daistaar

      And that always-around-the-corner purple nurple… You just never know when it’s coming.

  • CasperTFG
  • TSY87

    Definitely a cool idea, I just don’t trust these kinds of products that are crowd funded because they almost always get delayed, and particularly in this case, a helment is a very important safety device. Like others have pointed out, helmets aren’t one size fits all, people with rounder heads tend to prefer the fit of certain brands and those with pointer heads prefer another… Then you have other factors like wind noise, FOV, venting, and much much more. I think if there was some way to integrate similar technology but as a drop into other helmets, this would be great. I suppose it would be google glass, just adapted for motorcyclists specifically.

  • epps720

    Definitely picking up a Skully for my ride!

    • Tyrone Johnson

      Perfect! That helmet is so ghey. Obama will be wearing one on his next bike ride on his vacation on our dime. Hopefully he paid for his own mom jeans.

      • cizzlen

        wat

  • Rodeojones000

    This is amazing. If/when made available I’m going to seriously consider buying one.

  • XvierX

    I’m surprised it’s taken this long to bring something like this to market. I’ll pass for now but maybe later on down the road when there are more options to choose from and they dropped a little in price.

  • JT3

    If this were a modular helmet, I’d be all over it (well, once the price was reasonable). My current helmet (Shark Evoline 3) converts from a full face to a 3/4 helmet. I don’t think I’d like a “full-face all the time” kind of helmet, but each to his own. Still, the tech is drool-worthy. I just hope that this tech catches on, and you can buy it in different helmet styles (and again, for a more reasonable cost).

  • MichaelFranz

    As a fellow rider who has been following since day 1 I am excited. I only wish i had the $1500 bones to drop for it. Maybe i’ll wait it out until i can afford one considering they wont ship until riding season next year anyway (for me in NY at least). Any beta tester reviews ive seen have said positive things. I would just hope that the tech-internals are good enough to warrant it lasting 2+ years and make sure it gets stable updates. Would be nice if it supported an SD card slot for music :)

  • Suicide_Note

    I ask this in all seriousness, since I don’t ride a motorcycle at all. Wouldn’t it be dangerous to have audio played within the helmet itself, thereby making it very hard to hear things like police/fire/ambulance sirens, and other ambient noises?

    • MichaelFranz

      not as much as you think. I ride with Beat headphones. i heard horns/sirens/ anything around me. Not only that my bike has a full upgraded exhaust. You also have your mirrors to check and the HUD for rear view camera makes it easier.

      • BTLS

        As I just posted below, I don’t believe a real rider/enthusiast would want headphones blocking out engine/road/horn/other-vehicle sounds. Not just for safety from other idiots on the road (trust me I’ve been hit by more than one), but I prefer to hear my custom exhaust. A cross-country cruiser that’s set on 65mph cruise on a straight highway is different though… But I bet you won’t see many of those guys wearing this contraption.

        • MichaelFranz

          i consider myself a real rider. I prefer hearing music and something to help me enjoy a ride rather then hearing nothing but my loud exhaust. Dont get me wrong i make sure i can easily play/pause in case i do need to hear something or talk to someone.

    • Tyler Lamb

      At low speeds you could hear those things. At high speeds (such as a highway) you can’t hear really anything but the wind rushing by.

    • Sqube

      A lot of Bluetooth systems for helmets use speakers, not anything in-ear. And even if it is in-ear, you’ve gotta be listening to music decently loud to drown out sirens and other relevant ambient noise.

      Hell, people who ride a lot will use ear plugs, especially if they’ve got loud exhausts. Gotta preserve that hearing.

      • Suicide_Note

        Ah, okay. Thanks to all for the replies.

    • Jeff

      Not really any different than the stereo in your car. Of course you have to use proper judgement. You can (or at least I can) here ambient noises better on my bike than in the car. The helmet sounds great but I’d want to see reviews and would rather see Snell certification to protect my melon!

      • Ryan Chapman

        The difference is the stereo is attached to a car…With bumpers and a airbag

    • JT3

      These are usually actually safer than earbuds, since most in-helmet bluetooth systems (at least, good ones) have noise-sensitive volume, meaning that at slow speeds, it reduces the volume. Otherwise, you’d have to crank the volume up so that you could hear anything at highway speeds, which ends up being crazy loud when you’re at a stoplight. In-helmet systems let you listen to your audio at a reasonable volume at all speeds, allowing you to still hear the traffic around you.

  • Uchendu Nwachuku

    Great. So now Google can bombard you with motorcycle-related ads while you are riding…

    • Daistaar

      Ohhhh that’s really funny and clever! Not at all like all of the Google Glass parodies that have been around for years. Upvote for you on such a funny original joke.

  • Jared Denman

    I wouldn’t be leaving this helmet unattended!

  • Lucky Armpit

    I don’t ride motorcycles but I like the Bluetooth audio streaming part. Hopefully that means I no longer have to hear the concert-like volume of external speakers on cruising bikes at stoplights anymore.

    • BTLS

      I don’t believe a real rider/enthusiast would want headphones blocking out engine/road/horn/other-vehicle sounds… I know I wouldn’t. I’m also a big believer that loud pipes save lives…

      • Lucky Armpit

        And I don’t have an issue with the loud pipes, or even the loud music for that matter. I just find it a bit silly that the riders have the speakers turned up SO LOUD to drown out the engine/exhaust noise of the bike that you can hear it from 1/2 mile away. Kind of counter-productive if the point of that is so you can hear horns and other traffic noises.

        • BTLS

          I do agree with you about the annoying external speakers, especially in slow traffic or stand-still at a light LOL. I mostly ride sportbikes anyway, which don’t tend to have external speakers. I was just saying that most riders who try headphones, don’t end up wearing them long because it’s just too distracting, even more so than external speakers. Unfortunately for us they’ll continue to make new cruiser bikes equipped with those speakers though – many of which even have amps now too!

  • BTLS

    My helmets get dropped or replaced too much for this to be worth the cost for me… Plus there are many more important factors to a helmet other than cool electronic features… How’s the weight, wind noise, construction, washable liner, cost of replacement lenses, etc? Maybe I missed it but I’m surprised there aren’t more safety features, such as a something like an accident notification, especially for riders who are alone on back country roads.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      It’s funny, you kind of rag on the electronics features and then want to make sure they add yet another piece – sensors to detect a fall and electronics to send out an SOS – that you would like. Funny how that works. Sounds to me like you might be more into it than you want to admit.

      • MistaButters

        I think what he said makes sense.

        For him, it’s too expensive to be worth it and it won’t necessarily meet his needs for a helmet.

        For people who are willing to buy this, there are some features they could have added that would have been even more helpful to motorcyclist since they already tech’d it out.

        He wasn’t saying “I hate tech, let’s add more tech”

      • BTLS

        Um, you’re funny… If you actually read my comment, I said I’m surprised they don’t have more safety features! Meaning if they are going to load it up with GPS and charge a small fortune, why not incorporate such accident reporting, which could be life saving rather than just cool? I’m thinking from a business perspective, and will never wear this particular helmet. I’ve also been on a WV/VA/MD ride through the mountains where a fellow rider died after going over a steep hillside, and it’s very possible he would have survived if he was able to be located sooner!

        • http://ThisWeeksBeats.com Deez

          It has an open SDK so you could make the app that would do that for you and charge $1 for it. Get to it :)

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I’ll buy it when they get up to the AR-15 model..

    But all awesome jokes aside.. that is pretty fantastic. If I were a motorcycle guy, there is zero doubt I would but one. Zero. How did it take so long for this to happen I now wonder.

    • Sqube

      I figure it’s mostly the maturity of the tech. All of the parts have been individually available. The real trick was integrating them in a way that didn’t hurt your neck from the weight after 20 minutes of riding.

      • MichaelFranz

        i think you missed his joke..

  • FknTwizted

    front part of my jeans just got a ton tighter!!!

  • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

    I was into this from the get-go. Tried to get in the beta. Didn’t.

    The problem here is no one knows jack about the *helmet*. It’s all about the tech. But a poor helmet, one that fits poorly, or has bad wind characteristics, etc…or worse, a poor field of vision…can really ruin your ride.

    No one is talking about the helmet this incredibly expensive tech is jammed into. I’ve seen no review helmets out in the world. Why? They’re taking pre-orders but they don’t have a final production helmet to slap on one of the motorcycle journalists? They don’t want a cover story on Cycle World or Motorcyclist?

    Something tells me the tech is buggy and the helmet isn’t great. And I want to see DOT/Snell crash reports. No way am I dropping that kind of money on a maybe. I paid less for my ’93 XJ600 and that’s a whole motorcycle.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      I just cannot believe that any company doing this would put out a crap quality “helmet”. Do you really think they are not smart enough to consider the quality and safety of the helmet? They are smart enough to design everything else, and then you think they will put it into a junk helmet? It’s almost laughable to me that a few people have even brought this up. That helmet is going to be in a major spotlight if it ever comes out, and so do you really believe they will cut corners on it’s key purpose just to shove a camera and Android L into it?

      • JT3

        It’s not necessarily the quality relating to safety that JimK is talking about. Different helmets have different characteristics. Things like airlflow, noise, field of vision, and shape-induced-buffeting all vary from helmet to helmet, especially when you consider that conditions are different between riders of steet bikes (crotch rockets) and cruisers, since the rider’s head is often at a slightly different angle. Add in a windshield (or lack thereof), and conditions vary even more. That’s not even counting the fact that people’s heads aren’t all the same shape. No one helmet works for every rider. JimK was simply saying that it’s kind of hard to spend >$1,000 on a helmet where none of the characteristics are known.

        • FortitudineVincimus

          I think my comments still stand. One cannot think – and look at the pros commenting on the helmet in the video – that they have not considered wind noise, true quality safety build, field of view, shape, etc. Heck, look at the rear camera housing faring, that alone says a lot.

          As or fit.. every single helmet is susceptible to fit issues based on a persons head. This is nothing unique to this helmet or any helmet. Of course, you must test fit first just like i test fit my $250 cycling helmets – arguably WAY more costly oz for oz than this helmet – before I buy them. This goes without saying so not really germane to the point.

          The point still stands, IMHO, all of these issues people raise about quality and design aesthetics that will affect the usability of the helmet, of course they will work that out on a $1500 product before it hits the market. What, they want a helmet to be known to have wind noise despite it having audio capabilities they know you will need to be able to hear? They really want a helmet not up to safety standards in quality materials? They really want a helmet that gives you rear view, but are going to build it so poorly they cut off your field of view to the sides? These concerns are just not logical.

          • JT3

            One would hope you’re right, although I’ve tried on some very expensive helmets that I felt weren’t worth a quarter of their inflated cost (which is why I won’t buy a helmet from those “no helmet returns once it leaves the store” retailers). Expensive doesn’t necessarily equal quality, but as you said, I’m sure they’ll look at that, or they simply won’t sell many, and be out of business soon (which could happen… I’ve seen that too). I think the concern isn’t with the cost, so much, as with the pre-order cost. You’re shelling out $1500 or so on a helmet that you CAN’T try on, and even though they may eventually get it right, there’s no guarantee that the 1st Generation unit you pre-order will see these minor tweaks, nor that you’ll be entitled to any sort of price break to any of the 9 generations it takes to work out all the bugs. Maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, but then again, who knows?

          • GRS62

            Of course your comments still stand. Nobody is suggesting they’re not valid. But for you to infer others have no right to ask legitimate questions is ridiculous. I, for one want to know how much the helmet weighs. All the latest tech stuffed in a “quality” helmet doesn’t mean it’ll be light or even “average” in weight. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the manufacturer to provide as much information as possible to address it’s potential customers concerns. And when the (inevitable) competition shows up, how does a consumer compare products without complete information?

      • INW Caretaking, LLC

        Ah, so in the history of businesses there have never been high priced products that have failed, right? There’s no law that says if something is pricey, it must be good. People have legitimate concerns about this thing and rightfully so. Like me – I think the rear view camera is a HUGE distraction for a bike rider. Margin of error in a car is 20x more forgiving if you take your eyes away from the road but with a bike, it takes a millisecond and you’re testing those expensive leathers or worse… Don’t whine that people have different opinions than yours.

      • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

        Have you never spent three hours in a shop trying helmet after helmet only to finally pick a high-end Arai or AGV or Shoei , get it home and find that the wind noise is unbearable and the helmet slaps your head around because of bad aerodynamics? And you can’t see your gauges without moving your whole head down because the chin bar is so ridiculously large? One of my bikes has the gauges on the tank.

        I think I’ve done that “get the expensive helmet home only to return it” thing at least twice, and quite literally every rider I know has a similar story about something that went wrong with an expensive (read: north of $400 up to over a grand!) helmet. I currently own 9 helmets collected over the years, seven of them before I found my modular full face I love (Nolan N44) and a shorty I can live with.

        As for the safety factors…Consumer Reports regularly tests these things and releases charts. Cost is *never* the determining factor for which ones end up being the safest. It happens. Companies release crap that costs a fortune all the time.

      • helmetPRO

        The skully helmet looks identical to an LS2 – so much so that I would be willing to bet LS2 is making their helmet and is only modifying it to include the electronics. This thing is polycarbonate, not fiberglass or tri-composite. You will never see me dropping $1500 on a Chinese POS like this. Sorry I’m not sorry.

    • JMonkeYJ

      Yeah, I would never buy a motorcycle helmet without trying it on. The internal shapes are widely variable and crucial to comfort.

    • Corey
      • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

        Thanks for that! Nice to see more detail on the helmet, even if it was an early prototype.

  • Dave

    If it was only cheaper….

  • Chris Stuart

    For only $100 off of retail, think I would wait for the product to come out and get some reviews.

  • Ryan Chapman

    Looks pretty awesome, but boy, price tag is steep…$1500 motorcycle helmet…I guess if you have the money!

    • Chris Stuart

      A good helmet will run you $500. You can buy helmets for $100, but they are only made to absorb one impact. Hell, a regular helmet can be $1000. So $1500 is steep, but not out of the question if it is high quality. The alternative would be to buy a regular helmet, and then buy google glass.

      • jwildman16

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but no helmet should be used again after suffering an impact.

        • MichaelFranz

          depends….impact form an accident yea….dropping it from your waist and hitting the ground is 90% of the time ok. As long as the integrity of the shell is ok and there arent cracks in it.

        • Chris Stuart

          Multiple impacts in a single crash. Ie fly off bike, hit car, hit ground, tumble etc

        • Justin Kos

          Never ever ever. 1 impact 1 helmet IDC what anyone says

          Source: I ride :)

    • Jared Denman

      Glass costs 1500

      • Tony Byatt

        Gucci jeans cost $3000…

        Your point?

    • El Big CHRIS

      yeah when i saw the article i couldnt click fast enough. Then that price tag came up, i was thinking $300-$500, but $1500 is quite steep. I use a bluetooth helmet and love it, and this sounds amazing!