Video - Everything you need to know about BMW's Heads-Up Display (HUD) Helmet!
Snapshot: The world of motorcycling is set to get cool and geeky soon as BMW Motorrad showcases HUD on Helmets!!!
We love it when our beloved manufacturers go in full geek mode and present technologies that aren't just cool but promise to significantly improve motorcycling throughout the spectrum too. Now, after showing off the ultra cool Laser Headlight assembly on a concept BMW K1600GTL, BMW Motorrad has unveiled another tech update it is working upon that is bound to help riders have better safety and comfort while riding, an HUD Helmet.
HUD or Heads Up Display, is a technology that is utilized to project relevant data in front of the rider/drivers line of sight on the cars windscreen or in case of motorcycle, on a screen build in a helmet. It is done in such a way that the driver/rider does not have to move their eyes away from the road while at the same time being the information displayed does not take up the whole driver/rider viewing range, thereby increasing rider concentration and safety towards the road. Such sort of projection use various types of technologies, however every tech essentially projecting the data on the windscreen/helmet screen.
The HUD tech shown by BMW at the 2016 CES has been developed alongwith a company known as DigiLens, which is based out of California. DigiLens uses waveguide optics that are used to project the required information onto a lens in front of the riders eyes holographically. To understand it better, this technology uses a physical structure that is used to guides electromagnetic waves in the optical spectrum which are then projected on a transparent screen mounted inside the helmet in front of the rider's eye, thereby displaying the required information in the range of sight. For more information you can visit the Wikipedia page for Optical Waveguides or Google it which churns out about 14,90,000 results
BMW Motorrad, just like what they did with the Laser headlight enabled K1600GTL, have gone into to tech wizardry bins of their (more funded) car making counterparts and have used the already available tech that uses an optional HUD system that is used to project information on the inside of the windscreen in the drivers line of sight. This, is a welcome step from BMW since, with the rapid advancement in motorcycle technology and performance it has become an extreme requirement of times that helmets get up to date with technology that just doesn't provide added safety but also create and ecosystem of connected vehicles, something that the entire automobile industry is heading too and motorcycles too need to be a part of this revolution.
Now, the talks about HUD usage in Helmets isn't something new, where helmet makers like Scully has shown various version of this technology. However, with BMW Motorrad coming into development of such technology brings in mainstream big budget and marketing potential to this idea and on the longer run this should mean far reach and acceptance of such important development in motorcycling.
As per DigiLens, the system they have designed for BMW Motorrad is very compact and it claims that the rider can still wear glasses while using this technology in its helmets. Utilizing this system, BMW Motorrad wants to showcase a number of uses such HUD can be put to work for. This system can be used for displaying the speed rider is doing, the status of the vital systems on the motorcycle, it can also show GPS navigation and route information. Above all, this system will prove to be a big link in making a connected world of Vehicle to Vehicle communications finally coming to motorcycles.
We reckon motorcycles and motorcycle riders will benefit way more from connected vehicle technology than their four wheeled counterparts, especially in case of emergencies and it will be interesting to follow the developments on this front as vehicle-to-vehicle communications begins to gain traction.
BMW is also adding forward and rear cameras to this HUD system of theirs alongwith built in speakers and these can be controlled by the rider through the switches on the handlebar of his/her motorcycle. As interesting and important this technology is, it is not clear when BMW will actually bring this tech into mass production for use in real life. While the BMW press release quotes, 'few years', we reckon that this tech seems to be ready for real world and alongwith other makers in this field it is indeed proven too.
DigiLens also plans to sell this technology to other motorcycle manufacturers who wish to try this innovation out and it will be interesting to see how this technology percolates to us, the consumers and the riders in need of such intelligent systems. However, it will be important who makes these helmets and at was cost these will come to the market, when they actually do!
Watch the beautifully shot video below from BMW Motorrad showing the capabilities of their HUD system showcased at the 2016 CES and let us know what you think about this technology in comments below, or on our facebook page or on our twitter account.
As always, Ride Safe!
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