Not to be outdone by Silicon Valley and Asian tech wizards, Alfred and Julian Chow of Forcite Helmets in Sydney have developed their own smart helmet software package.
It evolved from an undergraduate UNSW design project after Alfred’s “near-death experience” in a motorcycle accident where his helmet cracked in half and the attached action camera almost penetrated his skull.
The helmet is based on similar smart helmets Forcite has developed for other industries, and the business recently received mentoring in the UNSW 10X Accelerator.
They say their helmet and software package give riders “greater situational awareness and allows them to overcome their lack of visibility on the road by communicating essential information about their ride in a completely safe manner”.
It can also alert riders to nearby safety hazards and provides video and audio recordings of the ride.
“We have seen riders attach all sorts of equipment to their helmets in an effort to record their rides – either for fun or for safety,” Alfred says.
“However, the practice of attaching cameras to helmets is currently illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries as the devices add to the weight of the helmet and at high speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury.”
(Our understanding is that NSW and Victorian police still believe external fittings render a helmet illegal, but NSW have been ordered not to fine riders until the issue is officially resolved.)