Skully, the techie helmet company with a reputation among riders worse than Harvey Weinstein’s, has reorganized itself and is preparing to deliver its AR-ready helmet this summer, according to a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last Sunday.
The newly minted Skully Technologies replaces the defunct Skully, Inc., and the Atlanta-based company is now led by Ivan and Rafael Contreras. The new company stated last fall it intends to release its innovative and infinitely teased helmet, now updated and dubbed the Fenix AR, which retains the AR-1’s heads-up display, rear-facing camera, and smartphone integration which enables GPS navigation.
“The Skully Fenix AR is bringing riders an unparalleled experience that offers increased safety and optimal connectivity, and there’s no better time or place to introduce the world’s most intelligent motorcycle helmet than CES,” says Ivan Contreras, co-founder and CEO of Skully Technologies. “We are deeply passionate about transforming riders’ mobility experience, and by pioneering the Skully Fenix AR, this is a critical first step in our imperative mission to enrich how people engage with the personal mobility interconnect that sets a new standard for safety.”
Contreras’ statement may ring hollow for riders who were intrigued about the promise of a technology-laden helmet and contributed funds to the company but never received one. Skully failed to deliver on its record-breaking IndieGoGo crowdfunding commitments and went out of business before executing more than a few deliveries.
To address the debacle of disappointing thousands of riders who contributed to the crowdfunding site, Skully is promising to ship the new Fenix helmet to anybody who had pre-ordered the AR-1.
“We would like to give anyone who previously pre-ordered or contributed to the effort via IndieGoGo the opportunity to receive one of our new Skully Fenix AR helmets, an improved version of the Skully AR-1 which will begin shipping the summer of 2018,” the Skully website states about its “Make it Right” campaign. Full details of the program can be seen here.
We’ve learned to be skeptical of any statements from a company with Skully in its name, but it appears as if the new Skully Technologies has the assets in place to bring its clever helmet to market with stronger business leadership than the original California-based company. CEO Ivan Contreras has business training from MIT and also currently serves as CEO of GasGas Motorcycles and Torrot, the latter which develops electric vehicles.
“We are looking forward to bringing Skully, the first AR motorcycle helmet technology, to mass production in the summer of 2018,” says John Lauten, COO of Skully Technologies. Also on the new leadership team is Himanshu Parikh as CTO, Jason Scherr as CFO and Diane Maier as Director of Marketing. And Skully’s hiring doesn’t appear to stop there.
“Skully Technologies,” reads the website, “is hiring a complete Atlanta-based engineering team to design and manufacture the next generation of Skully AR helmets and other new action-sports products.”
We’ll be monitoring the Skully situation as production supposedly begins this spring and are hopeful the reborn company can wash out the bitter tastes in rider’s mouths caused by the original iteration. But we’ll be skeptical until we get a Fenix for testing and regular consumers start taking deliveries.