Me and MyConnie Zen and the art of riding motorcycles

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Moto Guzzi Stevio Sport Touring

Preview: Skully P1 Heads-Up Helmet

If you haven’t heard the biggest buzz in the motorcycle yet, it’s the Skully P1 display helmet, and it’s a number of months away being a reality.

I was invited by Weller, CEO of Skully Helmets to his presentation on

After Marcus he placed a shrouded object on the table in front of a projection The crowd quieted and listened rapt attention to Marcus the story of how he literally dreamed up the for the helmet.

In 2011, Marcus was in Barcelona, Spain and he had an accident. following a red Smart car into a he quickly looked over his to check merging traffic. he turned his head back the Smart car had stopped in its tracks, in locked brakes and a rear-end

Marcus told us he wasn’t injured, but that it left an scar.

He then told us about six months later, at A.M. on a Wednesday, he had a dream he saw ride imagery and GPS maps in front of him. Upon up, he pulled out his laptop and searched for was available and where he might buy it. He that there was really on the market that matched his

That, he said, was the impetus for the P1 helmet which he then on the table in front of us.

Marcus that Skully was trying to the world’s most intelligent centered around three features:

1. Skully Synapse

Skully is the helmet’s intelligent heads-up (HUD) platform built an “Android spine”—software terminology I’ll refer to again Although heads-up display has been around for decades it has been integrated into a helmet in the way Skully is intending. showed a video that his vision and concept for the display:

He on to say that the display looks as it is floating out in front of the helmet at arm’s length and that it can be with the visor closed or Unfortunately, Marcus didn’t the P1 helmet—which he characterized as a working show any of the optical gadgetry. Nor did he anyone to try it on, relating a story of a investor accidentally snapping off the mechanism only 24 hours a big partner meeting.

So I cannot any actual performance from the P1 from this preview What I did find out was that software functionality, such as directions, wasn’t the only envisioned for the P1’s heads-up

2. Skully “Ninja” Display

likened the task of riding a to being surrounded by a bunch of and trying to keep from attacked by whichever one you weren’t Not a bad analogy considering all of the cagers I see on the road every day. The P1 helmet has a rear-facing camera a super-wide 180° view.

Marcus emphasized that would lead to a radical of visibility for the rider. He mentioned how he the prototype in his car when testing and he could see not only out of the back but out of both sets of side as well. This provided him improved situational awareness he mentioned was one of the high-level benefits of displays in fighter aircraft, at giving pilots a decisive over their enemy.

The P1 180° rear-facing camera electronics and rechargeable batteries are in this stylish, aerodynamic that is engineered to snap off in the of

an accident to not impart additional stresses on the rider’s head.  

people at Piston Chain whether the heads-up display be distracting and Marcus addressed fears by presenting his concept of all of the ninjas simultaneously. He said instead of having to look your shoulder and verify the view from your was correct and that there was no car in blind spot, YOU WOULD KNOW. This was because you see 180° behind you and to the sides, the need to turn your and take your eyes from the road ahead of

This system reminds me of a version of an aftermarket panoramic car mirror. I have driven a car one of these before, and the situational you gain from it is amazing. I understand why these have not integrated into cars by the manufacturers because in my opinion, greatly improve safety.

But they really need to into the driving experience and not bolted onto an existing The Skully P1 aims to provide level of improved situational and safety, but with a much user experience that features other than an expanded rear view.

rearview mirrors never much popularity in cars, but the 180° rearview heads-up could change all that for  

3. Android Open API-Based

Marcus went on to emphasize Skully is building an intelligent software platform that have an open API (application interface) with SDK (software kit). For those less about software systems, is analogous to Apple’s iOS operating   that runs on the iPhone and hardware but allows third-party to create custom applications to additional functionality to the user

For Apple users, this has in the availability of over one million to satisfy every need and from providing turn-by-turn to playing Candy Crush For motorcyclists, the Skully platform mean apps for navigation, information, vlogging, communications, or a other features. With integration from motorcycle it would be easy to imagine incorporating instrument cluster engine diagnostics…even crash

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Skully has chosen Google’s software platform for all of this wizardry to make their “intelligent.” But even though the may operate using an Android it will allow both phones and Apple iPhones to run that utilize the system. is, if the community of developers decide to apps with novel providing added value to and profit to the developers.

There is always a chicken-and-egg with platforms like envisioned by Skully. Developers come once they see users to make it worth the of their development dollars. motorcyclists may wait to adopt the P1 until it has enough apps and value for their dollars. But in case, it’s a pretty bet that the allure of the technology, and cool-factor will provide demand by motorcyclists.

Skully’s beta tester requests already proven that. Plus, decision to leverage the Android for their helmet platform encouraging apps for both and iOS-based phones will the mobile app developer community. a pretty sure bet that as as Skully nails the user-experience and a quality helmet that is right, riders will up in droves to check out, and buy, the Skully P1.

Marcus field of dreams: he will it, helmet buyers and app developers come. With the P1’s HUD functionality of 180° rear plus navigation and phone t his motorcyclist believes in Skully’s of dreams. Other benefits enhanced apps will over time and be gravy for P1

Marcus wouldn’t comment on pricing for the P1, but he did offer that he was to “ not pricing it out of people’s reach ” still trying to “ make money to keep innovating. ” is partnering with a major manufacturer to produce the P1 with a “ no design ” ethos. Marcus that he is planning to ship the P1 by “ the riding season ” but that was a very aggressive schedule, and he that this could that only the beta might ship “ at the very ”


Marcus Weller himself as a very confident and likable rider, innovator and Clearly he has the chops as the lead for the company. The vision he presented for “ the world’s most intelligent ” to prevent accidents and enhance the experience was compelling.

The motorcycle industry has been ripe for for years. And with more on two-wheels than ever the time is right for Skully be that disruptor.

I look at the P1 not only as a motorcyclist and writer, but as the CEO of a software development company Here are my takeaways from Weller’s presentation and why a Skully P1 on my head in the near future:

• Who wouldn’t pay a few hundred dollars for a helmet if it gave you the equivalent of spider-sense? If I can know that a car in my spot is going to veer my path before it hits me, well worth the investment. I don’t even need to get by a radioactive spider!

• A more immersive riding  As someone who worked in the scuba industry for 17 years, I know all immersive experiences. That’s why is so great: the wind, sun, the rain. Riding allows you to the full measure of living.

The P1 and potential for new apps will and enhance the riding experience in we can barely imagine.

• Taking to the next level: I may be getting of myself with this but I believe the Skully platform help advance motorcycling to an new level of safety and enjoyment. what might be possible you combine sensors, cameras, and a heads-up display? Just crash prediction and avoidance, new training while riding . ride tracking, low tire alerts…the list of potential are almost endless.

What I believe is that a P1 helmet be the next “ must have ” for motorcyclist and that the Skully and its visionary leader, Marcus are the ones to watch. Good Marcus (oh, and please forget my beta test ::

Moto Guzzi Stevio Sport Touring

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