Sydney startup Forcite has closed a recent $1 million funding round as they prepare to trial their smart, sensor-laden motorcycle helmet on Australian roads.
Alfred Boyadgis, founder & CEO of tech startup Forcite, very nearly didn’t live long enough to see this day.
Coming off his motorcycle five years ago, his helmet split in two, causing the attached action camera to come within a hair’s breadth of penetrating his skull. The near-death experience directly drove his resolve to develop an intelligent, safe motorcycle helmet that helps riders remain aware of their surroundings.
“As the world advances toward smart cities and self-driving cars, motorcycles have become an afterthought. Forcite is here to change that. Our innovative smart helmets feature the Forcite AI system that serves as a complete platform for the riding ecosystem, connecting motorcyclists to roads, communities and cities,” he said.
Boyadgis said that Forcite aims to focus on the millions of data points being communicated through mobile applications, GPS and cameras that are currently not within reach of riders.
The AI-driven system contains an integrated camera and audio, using AI to deliver the rider situational awareness by serving user-filterable data, alerting them to nearby hazards and providing recordings of the ride.
“We have seen riders attach all sorts of equipment to their helmets in an effort to record their rides – either for fun or for safety. However, the practice of attaching cameras to helmets is currently illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries as the devices add to the weight of the helmet and at high speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury,” Boyadgis said.
“Our smart helmet addresses the critical need for motorcycle riders to have greater awareness of what’s happening on the road around them in a new way,” he said.
Forcite is currently seeking ‘test pilots’ for its prototype helmet in the US and Australia, ahead of a 2019 commercial release. The company’s total funding to date is $2.8 million.
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