Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for the Forcite smart helmet that integrates a camera system, navigation and intercom in the shell and was developed right here in Australia.
The ultralight and ultra-hi-tech smart helmet will hit the market in December, but you can test it in July and August.
CEO and co-founder Alfred Boyadgis says their 6500 early supporters or “test pilots” can register to test the MK-01 helmet on their Launch Tour around Australia.
Dates are listed below and you can click here to register to attend.
The tour kickstarts with a track-day in Sydney and demo events in all states and territories.
“Throughout the tour, we will be gathering and utilising all the valuable feedback our Test-Pilots give us to further improve and refine the MK-01 helmet to make it the best we possibly can before delivering it to them in December,” their invitation says.
Test pilots will also be able to buy a limited-edition founder carbon composite helmet with gold logos for under $1000.
It launched on July 19 and there was so much demand the system crashed. It should be back up by now. Click here to order.
Forcite sales director Dylan Ross says the planned retail price for the helmet when it comes to market in December 2019 will be $A1299.
In this video he admits that their earlier Mach 1 model had a few flaws such as the camera position on the top.
He says that the top-mounted camera worked for sports bike riders, but those sitting upright mainly videoed the sky. And if the rider raised their visor, it obscured the camera.
The 160-degree camera has now been repositioned in the chin area.
Alfred also confirms that they have not altered the physics of the helmet which still complies with European ECE22.05 standards.
He says none of the lightweight electronics (<200g) is embedded in the foam lining to ensure the integrity of the helmet’s protection.
The Forcite helmet’s electronics are powered by two ceramic batteries that are guaranteed not to rupture or ignite in a crash.
Uni design project beginnings]
The Forcite helmet evolved from an undergraduate UNSW design project with co-founder Julian Chow.
It followed Alfred’s “near-death experience” when he crashed his motorcycle in an oil spill about five years.
He says he broke his knee and cracked his helmet in half. 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 with audio and light signals in the chin bar.
The helmet also provides video and audio recordings of the ride and it can be controlled via a smartphone app.
All the technology is integrated inside the helmet with no external attachments.
Alfred says helmet attachments are illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries.
(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.)
He says helmet attachments add weight to a helmet and at high-speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury.
There is also concern that they can cause dangerous head rotation in a crash.