Posted by gomotp media

There have been many attempts at building a helmets with integrated 'head-up display' (HUD) by start ups but none have come to fruition. But now SHOEI gets in the game with the SHOEI 'Opticson.' The prototype was recently displayed at the Osaka and Tokyo Motor Shows.

HUD technology has been around since the 1960s, at least, in combat aircraft. As important information is displayed on a glass panel directly behind the windscreen and in front of the pilot, he does not have to look down at his gauges, thereby ensuring he has sights up front especially during air combat and bombing manoeuvres. Hence, the name 'head-up display."

The technology was transferred to the automotive world successfully in 1988, but implementing one on motorcyclists presents many challenges.

Mounting a HUD on a motorcycle is challenging because motorcycle manufacturers can place the instrument cluster higher on the motorcycle. However, the main challenge is due to the rider's riding position - whether he sits up straight or tucks down - which changes the viewing angle. This is why mounting a HUD in the helmet makes perfect sense.

Previously called the SHOEI iT-HT when it debuted at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the project has progressed steadily.

It works by projecting the information you choose to see onto a 'combiner' (semi-transparent angled surface) which is placed in front of the wearer's eye. But unlike previous attempts at HUD, like the failed Skully helmet and the add-on Nuviz system, the combiner is separate from the projector and can be flipped up out of sight if you don’t want it in view.

The buit-in Bluetooth receptor allows the user to connect to his cellphone for GPS functions, which is shown as turn-by-turn navigation on the HUD.

SHOEI looks committed on this project, so let us hope it comes to fruition in the near future.