Motorcycle helmet manufacturer Shoei has always been at the forefront of helmet technology, having established a well-earned reputation as one of the industry’s finest in this particular field. That said, the company has embarked on yet another ambitious project with Transitions Optical Inc.

The result of this collaboration is the Transitions CWR-1 photochromic face shield, an adaptive face shield that pretty much changes its appearance depending on the lighting conditions. Basically, it can adjust its tint from clear to very dark automatically without the rider doing it himself. It’s a pretty nifty feature to have on a helmet because it lets riders concentrate on the road without worrying about stripping off dirty face shields.

According to Shoei, the revolutionary face field acts in such a way that when they’re exposed to UV light, trillions of photochromic molecules in the shield begin to change their structures, causing the shields to turn dark. But it doesn’t stay dark too long because the same molecules constantly re-calibrates so that the optimal amount of light reaches the rider’s eyes at any point in the day. Equally important is Shoei’s claim that the CWR-1 photochromic face shield can block UVA and UVB radiation.

The only downside to the technology is that it’s only available on Shoei’s RF-1200 full-face helmet. Here’s the good news, though. If the technology proves to be popular among riders, then we might see it in Shoei’s other helmets. The helmet does come with a cost, albeit at a pretty reasonable price of $169.99.

Click "continue reading" to read more about Shoie’s new photochromic face shield technology.

Why it matters

The whole concept of a face shield automatically adjusting its tint is pretty cool, especially for those riders who find the whole idea of multiple face shields annoying. I know from first-hand experience that things like this can be a nuisance, especially when it comes to riding long distances. Having the shield actually do the adjusting for you should put you at ease, allowing you to concentrate fully on the road that lies ahead.

I’ll also be the first admit that I know next-to-nothing about how the whole technology works. All this talk about UV light and photochromic molecules just flies through my head so I’m not even going to attempt to explain it. What I do know is that the technology has a chance of catching on pretty quickly if Shoei plays its cards right.

At the very least, it helps that Shoei is behind this enterprising new technology. That should give it the cache it needs to be a sales success now and in the future.

What do you think?
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