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Forcite says it’s shipping its first smart helmets

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If you’ve paid your money for a Forcite smart helmet, there’s good news: The company says it’s shipping its Mk 1 helmets, starting now.

Wait, you say—isn’t this a bit behind schedule? If you have a good memory, you  might remember we told you about the Forcite Mk 1 last fall. Then, the plan was to start shipping by December, 2019. You can’t blame COVID-19 for that delay, because that was even before the coronavirus pandemic started.

That’s all true, of course, but it’s also true that the pandemic would have added extra delays to any project that was running behind schedule already. Forcite’s Instagram post acknowledged the delay sort of, saying “It’ll be a slow burn while we make sure this is done 100% right, we didn’t take all this time to start cutting corners now. A huge thank you to everyone who cheered us on and has supported us up until this point. Especially the Founders for your patience, and constantly being behind us, couldn’t have done it without you. Stay tuned over the coming weeks while we get this done and start sharing some unboxing/review content. While this feels like the finish line, we’re barely getting started.

Sounds like some more delays may pop up yet, then. The current production run is only 1,000 helmets, and as far as we know, they’re shipping to Australia first. These helmets are pretty basic, as far as smart helmets go; they’ve got built in video cameras, with dodgy footage, as well as a comm system and an LED indicator system that’s supposed to warn you of danger. There’s no trick heads-up display.

In our original write-up on the tech, we told you “Instead of beaming information onto the inside of the helmet’s shield, creating an HUD like a pilot might use, the Mk 1 uses a system of multi-coloured LEDs to send information to the rider. Is The Fuzz – or worse, a speed camera – sitting just ahead? The LEDs flash red and blue. Need to make a turn to stick to your route? The helmet’s built-in GPS system lets you know which way to go by lighting up a series of green LEDs.”

It sounds kind of crude, but it’s still more advanced than Sena’s helmets, which are the only smart helmets you can realistically buy on the open market.

Forcite says it’s got more info coming about its products, so maybe we’ll see a next-gen helmet announcement soon. Or maybe not. Either way, if you paid good money for a Mk 1 helmet (they were priced around $1,050 USD), the delivery has to be good news, because you’ve certainly been waiting a while.

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