The dreams and hopes for a revolution in the motorcycling experience have gone to the drain with the fall of San Francisco startup ‘Skully’. In a world where millions of motorcyclist’s become victims of road accidents, skully endowed their vision for the improvement of rider safety and at the same time providing access of information to the rider .
For starters , the crowdfunding enterprise ‘Skully’ was well known for its development of the ‘Skully Ar-1’ (Augmented Reality). All this started at Barcelona back in 2010 when Marcus weller , CEO and Founder of Skully crashed his motorcycle when trying to find his way. Two years down the lane, he envisions the ‘Skully lid’. Finally, on august 2014 the company revealed the Skully Ar-1 to the people for pre-order at $1500.
The Skully Ar-1 helmet was said to feature a HUD aided by camera positioned at the back of the helmet. Thus, providing a 180 degree panoramic view to the rider with no blind spots through the Heads up display without interfering with the field of view ahead. Other features such as Bluetooth connectivity on board to hook your phones for calling, reading texts, or to simply listen to the music on the go. Hud featured maps with turn by turn voice navigation. Skully was also developing a voice recognition software ala ‘Siri’ to aid the riders access information with relatively less distraction.
The Skully Ar-1 looks chic with its styling cues on the lines of the latest generation of AGV and Shoei helmets. The spoiler at the topmost portion of the all the tech that goes inside this helmet. With spoiler behind and low chin area, this lid radiates a sporty appeal. According to the early testers, the helmet didn’t seem to be all that heavy.
So what is the fuss all about?
The enterprise headed by Marcus weller and his brother Mitchell weller were said to be successful in raising $1000000 through pre-orders. However as time passed they kept on altering the shipping period and eventually failed miserable in delivering their promise to their customers. As reports suggest, earlier this month the CEO and co-founder Marcus Weller and Mitchell Weller were ousted from the company by their investors. Now, as more and more reports are coming in about Skully ceasing its operations, the $1500 question arises in the minds of the several customers who trusted Skully with their “heads”.
I, however, still feel that Skully would have been a definitive product in the augmented reality business and also would have proved as a benchmark in the auto industry. Provided, they developed some clip on version of the same to be added to existing helmets. That would have helped keeping the costs low. Or an effective alternative to it would be selling off their vision to bigger manufacturers such as AGV, Shoei, or Arai.