CNET News Video: Skully motorcycle helmet gives you eyes in the back of your head
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CNET News Video: Skully motorcycle helmet gives you eyes in the back of your head

2:40 /

The Skully motorcycle helmet features a heads-up display and a rear-facing camera that let riders view their surroundings like never before. CNET's Sumi Das talks with CNET senior writer Seth Rosenblatt about what it was like to take a joy ride with the high-tech helmet.

-If you've ever ridden a motorcycle, you've probably wished you had eyes in the back of your head. The Skully P1 aims to grant that wish. It's a helmet with a built-in head-up display. -For the first time in human history, you're actually able to look at a heads-up display virtual image and see through it as well as 180 degrees behind you and to the sides all in one quick glance of the eye. -Placed in the driver's field of vision on the lower right, the display offers a rear view thanks to an imbedded camera. It also provides GPS navigation. Think of it as Google Glass in a helmet. To minimize distraction, the P1 will incorporate voice recognition- -Play music. -All systems go. -and a remote control on the motorcycle's handlebar. -This rear fin is, sort of, the core of our vertically-integrated design in that this rear fin, not only does it reduce wind buffeting which helps the voice control work better, but it also houses the electronics as well as the 180-degree viewing angle rear view camera. -The display has to work in all sorts of conditions whether it's bright sunlight like this or in the middle of the night when it's pitch black. To adjust for that, Skully incorporated an ambient light sensor. The display could be a nuisance to some but most users are likely to grow accustomed to the new view quickly. CNET writer, Seth Rosenblatt, was the first non-Skully employee to test drive the tech. -When you ride, you're often looking down to your left and your right to see your side mirrors and see what's behind you. With the- with the heads-up display, as I look down to my right, I could see what was behind me but I didn't have to look at the mirror and wonder what's on either side of what the mirror was showing me because the helmet was showing me directly what was behind my head. -Skully Helmets is on an aggressive schedule. It hopes for a 2014 launch though the P1 is still a prototype. Among the challenges, Skully must meet its goal of a 9-hour battery life. You can't ask a motorcyclist to interrupt their weekend ride to plug in. And then, there's the question of cost. -Are people gonna pay for a $3000 motorcycle helmet? I don't think so. So, they clearly have to figure out where- what's cost effective and- but on the other hand, huge interest. They can probably- they probably have a little bit more leeway with price than they were thinking. After all, it's hard to put a price on safety. In San Francisco, I'm Sumi Das, CNET for CBS News.

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