These days technology is developing faster than ever, and just when you’ve saved up enough hard-earned cash and purchased the latest and greatest gadget, a better, faster, sleeker model hits the market and renders yours a dinosaur. Damn it! On September 13th, Tokyo-based company Borderless Inc. launched a Kickstarter campaign for its newest design – the CrossHelmet X1, a smart helmet that features an integrated heads-up display (HUD) with claimed 360-degree field of view, ambient sound control and Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone. The crowd-funding campaign has since amounted over $277,000 – almost three times its goal – and continues to rise even as I write this.

CrossHelmet X1

If this sort of thing sounds somewhat familiar, that’s because it is. The motorcycle industry saw a very similar case with the Skully AR-1 helmet not long ago. If you’re not familiar with this fiasco that left a sour taste in the mouths of the moto-tech world, I’ll give you a quick rundown. The Skully AR-1 was a helmet with features similar to the CrossHelmet that was thought to potentially revolutionize the motorcycle helmet industry. Skully Inc. was able to raise $2.4 million in funding via Indiegogo and an additional $11 million from investors and managed to blow it all on exotic cars, lavish trips to hot destinations and strippers amongst other non-motorcycle helmet-related things… allegedly. All this culminated in the company filing for bankruptcy last year.

A new company under different ownership, Skully Technologies, (not to be confused with Skully Inc.) has acquired all of the former’s assets and plans on reviving the Skully helmet project. Although they have no formal responsibility to the investors whose money was squandered away, the company has just rolled out its “Make It Right” campaign where they will try to fulfill all of the former Indiegogo campaign’s promises made by the now defunct Skully Inc. on a first-come-first-served, level of investment basis.

In light of this multi-million-dollar disaster, investors can’t help but proceed with skepticism. However Arata Oono, founder and CEO of Borderless Inc., who almost certainly possesses exponentially more discipline than Skully’s CEO, is piquing investor’s interests to open their wallets into bringing the CrossHelmet X1 to production.

CrossHelmet X1

The CrossHelmet X1 with its flip-down HUD. I wonder how long it would take to get used to.

Unlike other HUD products currently available such as NUVIZ, the CrossHelmet X1 integrates all the technology within the helmet. Its most notable features include a rear camera with a lens that offers a 170-degree view behind the rider that is paired with a wide-view front visor that eliminates blind spots and provides about 30 degrees more peripheral vision over normal helmets. Combined, the X1 offers a theoretical 360-degree field of view.

CrossHelmet X1

360-degree breakdown of the CrossHelmet’s FOV.

CrossHelmet X1

The CrossHelmet’s rear camera with a lens that offers a 170-degree view behind the rider.

Everything going on behind you in addition to other travel information such as speed, compass direction, weather, time and navigation is displayed on a transparent and foldable bifocal lens. Paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth you can also listen to music and send / receive phone calls with quality sound.

CrossHelmet X1

An inside look of what you see while wearing the helmet.

The CrossHelmet comes with a smartphone app available on iOS and Android that provides access to the helmet’s many features such as Group Talk where you can seamlessly connect to and speak with multiple riders in your group. This extends to include members without a CrossHelmet as long as they have some sort of Bluetooth communication device.

What is uniquely different about the CrossHelmet is its patented-noise control system. They call it CrossSound Control and it’s designed to reduce or enhance environmental sounds, depending on the rider’s needs via the app. It uses a special algorithm system they claim will filter out road, engine, and wind noise, while allowing noises such as screeching brakes or emergency sirens for rider safety. This technology is new to the motorcycle industry with the only other manufacturer currently playing with the idea being SENA with their Momentum INC™ Pro (Intelligent Noise-Control) helmet. More on the new SENA helmets here. It will certainly be interesting to see how this technology develops.

CrossHelmet X1

The CrossHelmet app allows you to control ambient sound levels, Group Talk and navigation from your phone.

The CrossHelmet satisfies DOT, ECE and JIS safety standards and uses a solid-state lithium-ceramic battery that the designers ensure won’t spontaneously blow up on you. As far as pricing goes, all this technology will cost you a pretty penny to the tune of $1,799. The NUVIZ system has comparable features and is already available and for a fraction of the cost, priced at $699. On top of that, you can easily mount it to most full-face helmets. Additionally, the aforementioned SENA Momentum INC™ Pro will be available in early 2018, also priced at $699.

Other than the CrossHelmet’s lofty price, perhaps the other impediment to robust sales is the futuristic styling and features that will likely polarize some riders, especially older ones who enjoy the isolation, sounds and seat-of-the-pants sensations that come from riding. Our from-the-hip assessment is that the sharp angles and apparently large gaps might generate a good deal of wind noise at highway (or track) speeds. We at Motorcycle.com would love to someday test the CrossHelmet X1 to see how well it functions.

If all goes according to plan and investment continues, the next step is moving to production. The expected delivery date for the CrossHelmet X1 is currently Autumn / Winter of 2018. If you’re interested about learning more or backing the project visit CrossHelmet.com.

  • John A. Smith

    No thanks. One of the best parts of riding is that I don’t have to take calls, worry about music, or do anything but focus on the experience of riding. Keep that shit away from me.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      All people in my riding group have Sena 20S on their helmets so we can talk to each other while riding. When commuting, I have ear plugs to keep out road and wind noise and listen to my favorite music from my smart phone. Also I can hear the radar detector on my helmet and see it on the smart phone. Can also listen to news. Without the Sena, riding on the freeway in rush hour traffic is not an enjoyable experience.

      • John A. Smith

        YMMV, as they say. 🙂 I’m a straight earplugs and no distractions sort.

        • Sounds like you have a life-wish.

        • 12er

          Ive gone back to purity so to speak with my Ducati. Had the Autocomm hooked up and listened to tunes etc on the old BMW, but left it on the shelf for the Duc. Been enjoying the voices in my head the last few years.

          • Fabian

            What can be a better sound than the rumble of a Ducati engine under engine braking?

          • Mister X

            Well, since you asked… and nothing against Duc’s.

            I’m not a “car guy”, but speaking from personal experience, a Ferrari Testarossa, flat 12, sounds fantastic behind your head when you hit the LOUD pedal.
            Of course, it didn’t have a radio/music system either, it was ALL about that glorious engine noise.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            What are they saying?

          • 12er

            Mostly; “redline, redline!”

    • Mister X

      Agreed, I like Tech and utilize it as I see appropriate, I have 1 BSD and 5 Linux computers at home as workstations, but on my bike I have Zero electronics, nada, nothing except the stock computer running the engine.
      No music, no GPS, no phone, no communicators, except for my 2 Meter Ham radio transceiver, which I never use except in an emergency.

      I’ve been a broadcast DJ since 1979, and I love music, but when I’m on the road, I don’t want any with me.

  • Jon Jones

    Why does the future look so retarded?

    • Stuki Moi

      Because it hasn’t been to the Finishing School called reality.

      The future looked at least as silly back in the 50s….

      • Jon Jones

        So very right-on-the-money.

  • bert loehrer

    I think the 360 view is great. Mirrors are terrible at best.

  • Hair

    Seems to me that there are still blind or near blind spots on the sides near the rear of the helmet. Even though the diagram shows 170 degree vision, The model doesn’t seem to display that wide of a view. It would be nice to have some sonic sensors on the side of the helmet for working through blind spots. They would have to be programed to signal only when cars are moving into their field of view from the rear. but that doesn’t seem to hard to do.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Bike riding is all about situational awareness. You don’t need a HUD for that. You should know at all times where the vehicles are around you and behind you. The rear view mirrors do a good job. I am usually looking to see if the CHP is coming up behind me.

  • Gary

    I want my MTV.

  • Matt O

    Active noise cancellation sounds nice, but I’m kinda meh on the whole HUD idea

  • Craig Hoffman

    Pretty cool – I like the rear cam idea and HUD with NAV. It looks like something one would wear to ride a Star Wars air cycle thing.

    If this helmet does come to market, it will cost stupid money, and with a the helmet nannies telling me the lifespan is 5 years for a helmet’s EPS liner (a rule I am violation of with my unmentionably old Shoei) periodic replacements will be burdonsomely expensive.

    Helmet design overall is fundamentally unchanged and has been in the dark ages for years, time for someone to come along and shake it up. This will be a tough sell as MC riders are very traditional – getting many to wear a helmet at all is a challenge, but I wish them well.

  • Fabian

    Take you iPhone out with gloves to manage your app, drop the iPhone. Upset, you take off your helmet to pick up you iPhone and bend down, the helmet drops. The cam is effed up. You start again and to calm you down, you put Highway To Hell full blast and you don’t hear the police cruiser’s siren. You crash against the police cruiser.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Did that actually happen to you?

      • Fabian

        Not quite I was just musing but dropping the helmet quite often. They seem to love gravity.

    • Jon Jones

      Pretty funny!

  • JMDGT

    I like the idea of the heads up display. As far as being connected I couldn’t care less. I don’t ride in groups per say. I find my gps good for knowing where I am but never use it for directions. I have a sena but it does not filter out the wind noise enough for me to use it for listening to music. My weekly Sunday ride I tend to keep it quiet. It makes concentrating on the ride easier.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I use the wax earplugs that you stuff in the ear (found in supermarkets and drug stores). They cut out most of the wind and road noise. Then I set the sound on the Sena to the highest level and you can hear the music without the noise.

  • I’ve always found that the road and the surface conditions, the other vehicles plus the hazards generated by all three, are enough to keep me occupied without the distraction of music or chatting to fellow bikers. Mind you, the occasional communique to other bikers or a passenger, especially when it relates to potential danger or speed cops, is acceptable.

  • Dmitrii Kilishek

    For commuting – definitely Yes. For fun and travel – No.

  • Mister X

    Cool!
    I can’t wait for it’s Advanced Features!!!
    It will automatically post your Crashes to Reddit
    It will automatically upload your Trip Video to Youtube
    It will automatically transcribe and upload your Trip Commentary to Facebook
    It will automatically upload your Speed to Law Enforcement
    It will automatically upload your Crash Data to your Insurance Agency
    And more privacy killing aps coming soon!

  • johnbutnotforgotten

    bet that rear view camera works a treat when you have a passenger (well, maybe in some cases, but not so much for watching the traffic behind you)

  • Old MOron

    Well, I guess it looks kind of cool in a Star Wars cosplay sort of way – if you’re into that. But doesn’t it look like water will collect at the bottom of the face shield?

  • Rex

    “The CrossHelmet satisfies DOT, ECE and JIS safety standards…”

    This may be for the helmet itself BUT with that big honking internal HUD unit? I cannot imagine how that wouldn’t *cause* injury if one were to hit the ground forehead-down.

    Also, while incorporating all of the electronics internally is slick, that means if you change helmets or when it’s time to get a new one, all that stuff is a loss. Yeah, the Kickstarter makes mention of some sort of discounted “renewal” program but no cost.

    And, if you are thinking of investing, there are currently (as of 9:41 am PST, 9/28/17) only 5 more slots to “invest” and get a helmet for a *mere* $1,399 before only the next higher level is available.

  • Gee S

    Sorry, I could care less about integrating electronics in my helmet. One of the reasons I ride is expressly to get away from that chit.

    When I saw the headline, ‘The Future of Motorcycle Helmets’ I was hoping someone had made a quantum leap in their ability to protect a rider from forseeable impacts.

    THAT would be the future. Imagine my disappointment.

  • SRMark

    I’ll wait.

  • Ozzy Mick

    Although a baby boomer, I’m not tech averse, nor am l high tech savvy. I generally appreciate advancements in technology that improve our lives.
    But… like a few other commenters, l am of the view that one needs focus and concentration,
    when riding.
    Reminds me of the time l suggested to a riding buddy that we invest in bike-to-bike comms and I’ll never forget his priceless response: “Why? So that l can hear you screaming when you run off the road? ”
    💥

  • TC Kenan Yıldız

    It should be much more handy (and light) to use prismatic glasses&mirrors to get the back view and it s already done by another company. Being perfect is up to being simple as much as possible.

  • edbob

    Sounds really good. Not possible from a company that’s new. If they ever do manage to sell one, it will be a disaster – electronics, noise abatement, safety, aerodynamics, none of these things can be mastered by a startup. If Shoei or Arai came out with one, I’d buy it.

    • Jon Jones

      Perfect.

  • top secret

    How well does the rear view camera work riding TWO up? Hummm.