Will Skully Finally Deliver the Ultimate Motorcycle Helmet?

The Skully AR-1 is smarter than any other lid on the market.

The Skully AR-1 motorcycle helmet has caught a lot of media buzz since we heard about it back in 2013. And, for once, you can’t blame us for being excited: The Skully brings moto riders a heads-up-display (or HUD) that displays a live video feed of the traffic behind and in their blind spots, as well as metrics like speed, GPS navigation. There’s even stereo output of music and calls via voice control.

Now, the “Yeah, but…” of the thing.

Yes, it’s been nearly three years since the Skully first debuted. Since? Crickets.

Skully

And, yes, back then Skully said they’d deliver the $1,500 AR-1 by Jan., 2015. Then May 2015. Now they say, really, it’ll be out by this Christmas to people who bought in earlier, and that new orders will ship by Mar. of next year.

Disregarding startup hiccups, we have other reservations.

For instance, GPS navigation (and everything else mentioned, save the live-view video) is via Skully’s connected smartphone app. We’ve all experienced phone-based GPS that tells us, too late, when to turn left—or, worse yet, omits a turn entirety. So a big concern is how well the navigation tech actually functions.

Skully

Also, the HUD in this DOT-approved bean protector is, essentially, a tiny TV that sits in the lower right corner of the field of view. It’s proven tech; we’ve tested it for skiing in goggles that Oakley and Smith sell (both source via Recon Instruments, an Intel-owned outfit). But an Israel military spin-off called Everysight promises to leapfrog that teensy TV set with info beamed directly onto the lens or shield surface, meaning something like a transparent LCD for the entire visible field of view.  Which makes us wonder if someone’s already planning to upstage Skully even as they finally debut.

Skully

Meantime, the AR-1 is still very compelling. The cameras alone have the potential to make all moto riders safer. Hopefully it won’t turn into the Chinese Democracy of super-tech riding gear.