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Motorcyclists have always had to balance their concerns around safety, comfort, responsible speed, and the enjoyment of their chosen transport mode. Forcite – an innovative start-up firm based in Australia – is proving that it can help them do just that with a new helmet design packed with cutting-edge technology, optics and top motorcycle safety ratings.
Motorcycle Safety: Getting Better and Better
Keeping motorcyclists safe on the road is a crucial priority for all in the industry. Statistics show that motorcycle safety is improving year on year, with the latest figures from the US Department of Transport showing a 5% decrease in motorcyclist deaths from the previous year (2017 to 2018).
The latest advances in motorcycle safety build upon optics technology, materials, and a better understanding of human behavior.
Numerous smart helmets have been put forward. These take the intelligent features that car drivers have become used to, including satellite navigation, in-built speakers and microphones for cellphones, integrated video capture, road warnings, and alerts – and incorporate them into the motorcyclist’s field of view.
However, in motorcycles, these features must be designed with careful consideration of motorcycle safety. Distraction for a fraction of a second can result in a tragic loss of life or severe injury for the motorcyclist.
Forcite’s LED Smart Helmet
Forcite has taken this concern on board and integrated its next-generation smart helmet featuring a display and control system designed to allow motorcyclists to keep their eye on the road at all times, with minimal distraction.
Forcite’s innovation uses a strip of LED lights along the bottom of a helmet’s visor opening to convey critical messages to the motorcyclist. Forcite believes that this approach requires no motorcyclist concentration due to its intuitive LED visual communication systems.
This is opposed to smart feedback and display used in motorcycle helmets today: heads up displays or HUDs. Forcite co-founder and CEO Alfred Boyadgis say:
“HUDs are a dangerous distraction. They impede your vision and are hard to interpret, especially at speed.”
The Forcite helmet’s LED visual communication systems, controlled by a handlebar-mounted control unit, eliminate this distraction in favor of a much simpler user interface.
The LED strip uses moving green arrows for turn-by-turn navigation direction, flashing orange lights for upcoming road hazards, blue lights for weather alerts, and blue and red lights to indicate police presence on the road ahead.
An LED Smart Helmet Packed With Features
As well as their innovative LED visual communication systems, the Forcite team has packed its helmet with numerous smart features for the modern motorcyclist.
A wide-angle, high-definition camera in-built into the helmet automatically records whenever the motorcyclist is moving. This camera reads license plates across multiple road lanes and has a night enhancement feature ensuring accidents and incidents on the road are always recorded.
Coupled with built-in noise-canceling microphones, the chin-mounted camera makes Forcite’s helmet ideal for motorcycle vloggers. A battery that lasts for up to five hours of continuous filming allows filmmakers a great degree of freedom to capture every moment of their perfect ride.
The handlebar-mounted control unit allows riders to accept or decline calls, replay directions, and control the camera – all without sacrificing attention to the road.
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Is There Market Interest for LED Smart Helmets Like This?
Although the company’s first market-ready helmet only went on sale last year, the consumer market has already responded positively to Forcite’s innovative use of LED visual communication systems.
The flagship MK1 helmet sold out in Australia within months of the product launch in 2019. This demonstrates what the company’s founders suspected – motorcycle safety is of paramount importance to their target consumers.
Two of the region’s top investment organizations have recently invested in Forcite. Atlas Advisors Australia and Uniseed have made a joint investment of AUD 1.2 million (USD 860,000) into Forcite.
This investment will enable Forcite to complete mass production lines to embark on a broader domestic product rollout in Australia – where demand is certainly high.
Forcite is seeking Series A investment to expand into lucrative markets in Europe and the US.
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Next Steps for Forcite
As well as seeking investment to bring its product to international markets, Forcite is also continuing to advance the field of LED visual communication systems. Boyadgis commented:
“We are now developing on building human-machine interfaces with top motorcycle manufacturers which we plan to exhibit at EICMA 2020."
Motorcycle enthusiasts and industry players alike will be watching for Forcite’s next innovation in motorcycle safety, LED smart helmets, and LED visual communication systems.
Sources and Further Reading