By Wade Thiel
The Smart Helmet Confirmed
At the last CES, NS West and Shoei teamed up to bring a unique smart helmet with a head-up display (HUD) called the IT-HT. Shoei just confirmed it. Japan Today reported that the helmet manufacturer will produce the IT-HT and begin selling it in Spring of 2020.
Shoei is well-known in the industry for making some of the best helmets around. NS West is less well-known, but it has the technology and expertise to get it done. The company worked with Mazda and Daihatsu in the past. NS West will work on electromagnetic compatibility and graphic user interfaces for the helmet.
According to Japan Today, the HUD system used on the helmet is very similar to the systems found in cars, just optimized for a helmet. The helmet will interface with your smartphone and provide navigation as well as weather information. The helmet also comes with speakers to take phone calls and listen to music.
The actual display itself shows up larger than in a car and appears further out than in a car. This was determined to be optimal for riders. I would hope that Shoei and NS West will allow riders to adjust the visuals of the HUD, but I saw nothing mentioned in Japan Today’s reporting.
One thing that was mentioned that I found interesting was the fact that the display adjusts to light. That means if the HUD automatically adjusts brightness to suit the amount of sunlight available. This could be helpful if you’re riding in and out of tunnels or other areas where there are stark differences in the amount of light available.
The price of the helmet has not yet been determined. Japan Today reported NS West estimated the price around ¥120,000 to 150,000 (about $1,100 to $1,300).