Skully Helmets, a startup specialized in making augmented reality helmets for motorcycles, has bagged the best wearable tech award at this year’s SXSW. The company was adjudged the best wearable tech company at a technology competition on 9th March, 2014 at South by Southwest Interactive. There were six categories namely entertainment/content, social and interactive world technologies, wearable tech, enterprise/big data and health. A total of 48 startups had participated in this competition. In each category, three teams were announced as finalists and the winning prize for each team was $4,000.
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AR Motorcycle Helmet
The Silicon Valley startup, Skully Helmets was named the winner in this category for developing an augmented reality motorcycle helmet. A 180 degree rear-view camera is there in the helmet which projects images to a see-through headset display. This enables the driver’s eyes to see around them in every direction without even the requirement of moving away attention from the road ahead.
The aim of Skully Helmets is to create the safest helmet for motorcyclists in the entire world. They don’t want to create helmets which are just for the sake of saving the rider’s head during a fall. Though the prototype headgear was developed for motorcyclists, yet demand for skiing and bicycle headgears as well as for military applications is quite high.
Other Competitors in the Same Category
Among the other two finalists in wearable tech category, one was Bionym, a Toronto based company that developed ‘Nymi’, which is a fitness tracker that measures the unique cardiac rhythm of the wearers and authorizes their identity. Another finalist was a Netherlands based fashion designer Pauline van Dongen who has developed garments which are solar cell-integrated.
Apart from these two finalists some other companies which had taken part in this competition under the same category included Fashion Discovery Labs, which is based in San Francisco and has created an app that allows Google Glass users to purchase any garment that they see on the street, instantly. Another competitor was Jon Lou, a brand based in Staten Island which developed a handbag inspired by Italy that can charge a tablet or a phone.
The products of the startup were pitched to judges from industry, media and venture capital. The events were sponsored by the computer technology company, Oracle.
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