Aprilia Develops An Augmented-Reality Mechanic’s Helmet

I gotta say, after watching the mindless lemmings wandering into traffic while playing Pokeyman on their phones, I didn’t have a very favorable opinion of the whole augmented-reality thing, and couldn’t really imagine it going beyond chasing imaginary creatures around on real terrain. Aprilia, in cooperation with Realmore, has just illustrated for me the error in my thinking. Introducing the DAQRI Smart Helmet; an AR device meant as an aid for the factory’s race mechanics. In fact, said mechanics will be debuting their fancy bucket at the San Marino MotoGP this very weekend.

Continue reading for more on the Augmented Reality helmet.

What’s The Buzz?

The Hottest Tool In The Motorcycle Mechanic's Toolbox
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Essentially, the wearable device places a screen before the mechanic's eyes with a heads-up display that relays the pertinent telemetry from around the bike.

Essentially, the wearable device places a screen before the mechanic’s eyes with a heads-up display that relays the pertinent telemetry from around the bike. Not only does the helmet display temps as reported by the bike itself, the on-board thermal camera can spot-check temperatures literally at a glance. If you’re like me and would rather take a beating than pore over electrical diagrams all day, you’ll really like the feature that allows you to look at a pinout connector and see an overlay with each pin’s number for quick and easy electrical-gremlin chasing.

All of that is cool around the shop, but what about the pit? On race day, the lucky wrench-turner gets fed strategic info such as lap number, fuel load and tire selection for on-point support. Will this win races? Not by itself, but it certainly won’t hurt, and it could conceivably increase rider safety by reducing the possibility of an error during a pit stop. It may not win a race, but it’s likely to keep Aprilia from losing one due to sloppy work or the extra seconds it takes to do checks by hand.

The Hottest Tool In The Motorcycle Mechanic's Toolbox
- image 730249
On race day, the lucky wrench-turner gets fed strategic info such as lap number, fuel load and tire selection for on-point support.

Thems the facts as we have them, folks, but bear with me whilst I indulge in a little theory-crafting exercise. I can see this product, with very few changes, being viable for mechanics and diagnosticians in the general automotive- and bike-repair field as well, maybe even into marine and aviation. Heck, why stop there? Add a Bluetooth transmitter to a hospital vitals monitor and pipe it to a pair of DAQRI Smart Glasses for medical support. The possibilities aren’t quite limitless, but they are exciting nonetheless... and if nothing else, the AR technology can be used as a platform for some other silly game.

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