Shoei’s been working hard on a helmet with HUD (heads-up-display) – and the current incubating brainchild, ‘Opticson,’ will purportedly help make the basics of riding (speed, distance to the next turn and lane prompts) that much simpler to manage.
Back in 2020, Jim Pruner and Bruce Cole reviewed Shoei’s RF-1400 and J-Cruise II motorcycle helmets, with the 1400 in particular boasting a 4.9-star rating (Jimbo doesn’t mark willy-nilly, so it’s a fantastic mark for a lid, coming from him).
While neither helmets featured HUD, the review consensus was more or less the same: Shoei makes great (though sometimes a tad hefty) lids for the safety-conscious rider.
Sometimes, though, a good build isn’t quite enough to stand out – so what better way to shake up a moto market in the thralls of a technical EV-olution than to pop out a helmet with integrated HUD?
Shoei’s ‘Opticson’ concept helmet works on a simple enough format: MCN tells us that “an inverted image of whatever you want to see on the HUD is projected onto a semi-transparent, angled surface – called the combiner – in front of your eye, so when you see its reflection it’s the right way around.”
“The focus is set so [the digital prompt} appears to be hovering some distance ahead of you, meaning the image is sharp even when you’re looking at the road ahead.”
Another reason why manufacturers have yet to come out with something like HUD is space – where would the computing system, energy components and other accessories be stored?
Apparently, more manufacturers are taking a page out of Forcite’s book, stashing away the guts of the operation in the chinbar of the ‘Opticson,’ making for a minimalist build that gives almost no sign of HUD tech until you’ve popped the thing on your head.
So what is entailed in the Shoei ‘Opticson’?
Besides the HUD lineup, the report tells us that the Opticson will be smartphone connected, instead of the traditional satnav system, with the rider’s information projected onto a multi-adjustable bracket that hangs down in front of your right eye.
With Shoei’s concept helmet revealed to be vastly improved at the recent Osaka and Tokyo motorcycle shows, we are anticipating an eventual debut date.
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