The advent of Google Glass has revolutionized the way we get information on the move. And a team of motorcyclists-come-engineers from Russia is taking the experience a step further using with an augmented reality GPS system, which is built directly into the bike helmet.
The LiveMap crew is based in Moscow. When they got irritated with paper maps as the touch-screen navigation systems that are usually unintuitive, the team decided to peek into the world of fighter jets to find a viable solution. The team created an augmented reality GPS system that provides full-color and translucent image, which is projected onto the users’ helmet. This augmented reality app runs on Android and it is controlled through voice commands.
A rider using Google Glass would need to look up and right to view the next turn or waypoint. Unlike the Google Glass, the LiveMap system displays the image directly in the middle of your point-of-view. Though it may sound dangerous, there is nothing to worry about. The execution of this augmented reality tool is similar to the AR features of latest BMW sports sedans. This augmented reality GPS system also comes with an ambient light sensor that allows the system to adjust the contrast and brightness in order to suit the environment.
The integration of a digital compass and gyroscope is even more impressive. This allows the augmented reality GPS system to change the orientation of the image when the rider turns his/ her head in order to acclimate to the movement. It also comes with features like point of interest searches and voice controls and these features is supposed to be provided by Nuance, the company that assists Siri understand commands. And the mapping software is provided by Navteq.
This augmented reality GPS system features two 3,000 mAh lithium-ion batteries. The team claims that it would be enough for a day-long ride. Besides, you can and charge up the batteries using a standard USB plug. According to LiveMap, the helmet will be a little larger than the normal one; however, the company is using a carbon fiber shell along with injection-molded foam for keeping the weight in check. It is expected to weigh around 2.5 pounds and will even meet the major crash certifications from all across the world including ECE 22.05, DOT and JIS T 8133 of Japan. This augmented reality GPS system is expected to be available in U.K., USA, Australia and Canada in 2014. However, Japan and Europe will have to wait until 2015 to take delivery.
LiveMap has currently developed the helmet, optics, and software and board with the help of funding received from various Russian government sources. However, they are yet to receive a fully-functional prototype. Thus, the team is now turning to Indiegogo for raising $150,000. Besides, backers have invested $1,500 to get the first round of this augmented reality helmets. However, LiveMaps has already declared that the price of this augmented reality GPS system will go up to $2,000 each. The price is a little too high for something that a biker needs to replace every five years.
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