Skully Talk - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Skully Talk

There's been some recent talk about Skully so I think we should bring this discussion here just so that we don't hijack the WHYDTYBT thread. For the breakdown on why their company's collapse was so bad:

gizmodo-default



Also, Skully has a couple of still pending applications, but nothing has yet issued, so it's tough to say what they'll get allowed. Especially if someone else gets a hold of the IP:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20130305437A1/en

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160066640A1/en

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160110615A1/en

I'm a patent attorney and do a lot of work with HUDs and other types of optics and while they've got some pretty broad disclosures, it remains to be seen what they'll actually get. In terms of what they're actually doing, in my brief look at the tech, they're just combining known elements, so the patentable scope is likely pretty narrow. Everything is still assigned to Skully so I'll be interested to see who ends up buying their IP. If a bigger company gets a hold of this tech, they could pretty easily just throw it into an existing shell design without too much modification I'd imaging.

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post #2 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 08:38 AM
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Great discussion thread.
I met the two brothers who supposedly "created" this HUD helmet.
At the time, they seemd like honorable fellows.
Forward to present day.
They are a bunch of scum bags who never had any intention of creating this device to aid motorcyclists.

And that leads me to another line of discussion, I've always wondered just "WHY" hasn't any of the bigger manufacturers come up with a HUD helmet already?
I can't imagine that there are so many DOT and communication standards that this can't become a reality.

All in all I'm one for HUD for motorcyclists.
We can debate and argue all we want about just how much MORE is involved in your sensory receivers when riding a motorcycle as opposed to driving a car but what'evs.
I still believe the JARVIS and the Stark Tech is just around the corner and I'll be able to see it before I kick the bucket, that I'm sure of.
Until then, great thread. Let the opinions begin.

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Location: Shambhala
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1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
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1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Honestly, as with most of these kickstarted projects (See Coolest Cooler among others) the project starts off with a good idea. Then it gets picked up. Then they make more and more money. The promises get bigger and bigger. Suddenly, you go from making this small, boutique product to looking at international supply chains and government regulations and international IP issues. It spirals out of control when you've got people who just aren't used to dealing with these types of scales and issues. Then the money runs out and there's nothing to show for it. If you've never actually brought a product to market, you really have no idea how difficult it actually is and there are so many hidden costs. There really just isn't any substitute for experience in bringing a product from concept to reality.

I think the regulations and liabilities are big big issues to established helmet manufacturers. Also, integrating this type of tech into a product they manufacture on the scales they do isn't cheap and has to be a pain to keep current with different phones, bluetooth / wireless protocols. When you think about it, companies like HJC, Shoei, et al. make JUST enough helmets that smaller, more expensive one offs don't make financial sense, but they're not HUGE enough to be able to spread those costs out across an entire company's products, like say an Automotive company can do with infotainment systems.

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post #4 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 08:50 AM
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You have a valid point DSB.
Still, there must some "other" underlying reason why the bigger helmet manufacturers or heck even Honda or Yamaha or other moto manufacturers haven't taken this on.
What that underlying reason is I have no clue.
I do know this, there was a lot of interest in seeing this Scully helmet become a reality and these guys blew it "Big Time".
During their investor presentation, they swore up and down the entire show, stating they WILL make this happen. Vaporware, we shoulda known.
I invested nothing in this until proven it could be built but there were a plenty of folks in the audience who wanted to "HANG" those two by the COJones.......cause they plopped down $2K and have seen nothing to date......................sad.
Really should have been done better.

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Location: Shambhala
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1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
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2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 10:13 AM
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I think the difficulty lies in the software part of it ie the app that would accompany the hardware.

All the companies you mentioned aren't software companies and I don't think they'll take the risk of dumping so much money in mass producing a very expensive helmet that has shit software or to be more diplomatic, that has software that can easily be judged as horrible by customers..
And while anybody can write software, its very difficult to write good software (scalable, upgradable, backward compatible etc).

That's one of the things now adays that everybody wants to do.Some cool product that's accompanied by an app but they're not a software company so the respective product is easily dismissed by customers ue to the quality of the app or the company itself realises that it takes a LOT of money to setup/support the backend servers/infrastructure to support their software.

Software may seem like magic but it's not :P I know, I work in the industry.
I think this is where people get "wooed" by kickstarters.. Not only is it hard to judge the difficulty of the problem that's trying to be solved, but also the skill and capability of that kickstarter to deliver.

Another good example is the Fusar headcam thing. At first there was a bunch of noise but I haven't heard anything in the past 6-12. I bet they realised that it's not an easy feat and they're keeping quiet until they actually have something good and workable.

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Originally Posted by VintageHunter View Post
You have a valid point DSB.
Still, there must some "other" underlying reason why the bigger helmet manufacturers or heck even Honda or Yamaha or other moto manufacturers haven't taken this on.
What that underlying reason is I have no clue.
I do know this, there was a lot of interest in seeing this Scully helmet become a reality and these guys blew it "Big Time".
During their investor presentation, they swore up and down the entire show, stating they WILL make this happen. Vaporware, we shoulda known.
I invested nothing in this until proven it could be built but there were a plenty of folks in the audience who wanted to "HANG" those two by the COJones.......cause they plopped down $2K and have seen nothing to date......................sad.
Really should have been done better.

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post #6 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 01:12 PM
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But look, the hang up isn't that difficult.
Basically, you take your WAZE or MAPS apps, project "that" on a screen in front of your visor and it be transparent, like you are looking "at the road" ahead yet have the "map image" being projected in the same spot in front of you where that actual road is....it's kinda like those simulated 70" screens that are done by GoogleCardboard or the Oculus. it's an interactive image projected ON your visor. I mean...hell guys, I'm no software dude but it can be worked out.
I can't see why it would be that difficult.

Ah hell..............I'm just gonna have to build this myself.

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Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 01:14 PM
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Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
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2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #8 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 01:20 PM
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here's another one....the tech is there. But its not put into one package yet? why?

VintageHunter
Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #9 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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I got to imagine it goes something like this:

Most helmets sold are less than $500. The upper tier companies sell theirs for more money, but not in the volume of the less expensive ones. So now, you've got this tech that you want to put in a helmet. You can either:

- Go the Skully route and try to make your own helmet. Huge R&D costs, government certification, obvious skepticism.
- Try to partner with an existing company.

(*I'm gonna just pretend small, one off boutique isn't an option since such modifications would blow the safety rating of the helmet and that's just dumb)

If you're a more affordable minded company, do you think your consumers, who barely pay for a $500 helmet, will pay $1,500 for your helmet with this thrown in there? Now they're paying top tier money for a helmet that's not as quiet, heavier, not as safe, etc. as the $1,500 racing helmet, it's just a $500 helmet with a heads up display. I'm not saying I personally wouldn't consider buying this helmet, I'm just saying that's a tough row to hoe.

If you're the top tier company, you make your money by saying, "Racing tech from MotoGP helmets is in our $1,000 helmets." They're super lightweight and you can't just throw this, comparatively, bulky tech in there without making accommodations for weight / room. Now your consumer grade helmet is $2,000+ and man, that's a ton of coin.

Overall, I think it's tough to get a company to sink that much money into such a niche device that I think is still a tough sell to riders.

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post #10 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 02:03 PM
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ok, I get it.
aint gonna happen unless we can bring price point down, safety factor up, and weight and tech down...I get it.
But....I'll be cha $1000 coins MotoGP helmets have "this" type of "tech stuff" built into them already.
Don't you think the Rossi's and Biaggi's have some for of 2-way communication with their pit crew? Maybe even, perhaps some sort of HUD type system in their racing helmets already?
Like a fighter pilot, he's got information buzzing all around his helmet and all around his suit.
Did ya know that the seats on a fighter jet have these small, long, rounded end shafts that are all over their seat and back? these small shafts are activated by sensors outside the aircraft to alert the pilot of where his enemy is in 3D space around him. if the enemy is at the pilots 9, dimples on his left side raise and lower according to how close the enemy craft is....kinda like a nudge to let the pilot know...."hey you gots company on your left".

VintageHunter
Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #11 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Regarding racing, that stuff is so highly regulated in terms of communication and information those guys can have, the only way they have it is if everyone else has it.

Also, I do a lot of work with aviation HUDs and those things are pretty ridiculous. They need that information because there's so much going on with the aircraft that they can't feel. So much they need to see and process. I've never raced motorcycles, but I don't think I could handle being bombarded with a ton of information while I ride. I need to focus on the road. Someone who's done more track time would be the one to ask, but I've got to imagine since so much of it is learning how the motorcycle feels and adjusting, it's a somewhat similar situation in which that extra information isn't needed as is distraction.

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post #12 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB_ESQ View Post
There's been some recent talk about Skully so I think we should bring this discussion here just so that we don't hijack the WHYDTYBT thread. For the breakdown on why their company's collapse was so bad:

gizmodo-default



Also, Skully has a couple of still pending applications, but nothing has yet issued, so it's tough to say what they'll get allowed. Especially if someone else gets a hold of the IP:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20130305437A1/en

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160066640A1/en

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160110615A1/en

I'm a patent attorney and do a lot of work with HUDs and other types of optics and while they've got some pretty broad disclosures, it remains to be seen what they'll actually get. In terms of what they're actually doing, in my brief look at the tech, they're just combining known elements, so the patentable scope is likely pretty narrow. Everything is still assigned to Skully so I'll be interested to see who ends up buying their IP. If a bigger company gets a hold of this tech, they could pretty easily just throw it into an existing shell design without too much modification I'd imaging.
I'd like to know why this wouldn't be considered prior art. We've seen HUD on other things like cars, glasses, etc... Is the only difference that they put it into a helmet?

The reason I ask is because I was looking at getting a patent on something and some of it is prior art and other parts is just using something differently. If you can get a patent on using prior art differently, then their patent would be valid?

I wonder if google glass could be used for this same thing, it would be on the glasses, but some effect. Also , rear view camera, why would they have a patent on a rearview camera? Only thing I can think of is that it's in a helmet.

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 03:00 PM
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Great discussion thread.
I met the two brothers who supposedly "created" this HUD helmet.
At the time, they seemd like honorable fellows.
Forward to present day.
They are a bunch of scum bags who never had any intention of creating this device to aid motorcyclists.

And that leads me to another line of discussion, I've always wondered just "WHY" hasn't any of the bigger manufacturers come up with a HUD helmet already?
I can't imagine that there are so many DOT and communication standards that this can't become a reality.

All in all I'm one for HUD for motorcyclists.
We can debate and argue all we want about just how much MORE is involved in your sensory receivers when riding a motorcycle as opposed to driving a car but what'evs.
I still believe the JARVIS and the Stark Tech is just around the corner and I'll be able to see it before I kick the bucket, that I'm sure of.
Until then, great thread. Let the opinions begin.
Big companies don't always invent a lot of things. Look at the motorcycle air bag. It's a CO2 tank and a bag, when you fall off your bike, a switch sets off the bag and you have a neck/back/etc brace.

Why wouldn't this be in most jackets or mainstream.

IMO, it's very hard to find a big company that cares about anything past profits for the stock holders.

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post #14 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB_ESQ View Post
Honestly, as with most of these kickstarted projects (See Coolest Cooler among others) the project starts off with a good idea. Then it gets picked up. Then they make more and more money. The promises get bigger and bigger. Suddenly, you go from making this small, boutique product to looking at international supply chains and government regulations and international IP issues. It spirals out of control when you've got people who just aren't used to dealing with these types of scales and issues. Then the money runs out and there's nothing to show for it. If you've never actually brought a product to market, you really have no idea how difficult it actually is and there are so many hidden costs. There really just isn't any substitute for experience in bringing a product from concept to reality.

I think the regulations and liabilities are big big issues to established helmet manufacturers. Also, integrating this type of tech into a product they manufacture on the scales they do isn't cheap and has to be a pain to keep current with different phones, bluetooth / wireless protocols. When you think about it, companies like HJC, Shoei, et al. make JUST enough helmets that smaller, more expensive one offs don't make financial sense, but they're not HUGE enough to be able to spread those costs out across an entire company's products, like say an Automotive company can do with infotainment systems.
+1, this is exactly what happened to me more than once. I had an idea and built the prototype, only to find out the reality of getting parts from all over they world, shipping, IP protection, etc... It's sad because the product works, it's getting it to scale and making a business out of it.

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post #15 of 21 Old 04-11-2017, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB_ESQ View Post
I got to imagine it goes something like this:

Most helmets sold are less than $500. The upper tier companies sell theirs for more money, but not in the volume of the less expensive ones. So now, you've got this tech that you want to put in a helmet. You can either:

- Go the Skully route and try to make your own helmet. Huge R&D costs, government certification, obvious skepticism.
- Try to partner with an existing company.

(*I'm gonna just pretend small, one off boutique isn't an option since such modifications would blow the safety rating of the helmet and that's just dumb)

If you're a more affordable minded company, do you think your consumers, who barely pay for a $500 helmet, will pay $1,500 for your helmet with this thrown in there? Now they're paying top tier money for a helmet that's not as quiet, heavier, not as safe, etc. as the $1,500 racing helmet, it's just a $500 helmet with a heads up display. I'm not saying I personally wouldn't consider buying this helmet, I'm just saying that's a tough row to hoe.

If you're the top tier company, you make your money by saying, "Racing tech from MotoGP helmets is in our $1,000 helmets." They're super lightweight and you can't just throw this, comparatively, bulky tech in there without making accommodations for weight / room. Now your consumer grade helmet is $2,000+ and man, that's a ton of coin.

Overall, I think it's tough to get a company to sink that much money into such a niche device that I think is still a tough sell to riders.
One of the issues here is simple economic. They had to have a full company structure and that costs a lot of money. Everything from an accounting dept to all the mgmt, employees, computers, etc...

This is where economics kicks in. If you had another company that is underutilized, they can make this for much cheaper. Some other company might have the extra warehouse space, accounting software, etc... They could make this cheaper than a startup from ground zero.

The customer gets nothing from a startup having to file a bunch of papers and buy an accounting system, production lines etc...

This is one of the advantages of a merger and way M&A has spiked. US companies not only save on taxes by merging, they cut overhead. I think Buffet just did that with Kraft foods.

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post #16 of 21 Old 04-12-2017, 10:17 PM
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Eh, I don't really see myself caring all that much for that tech. You definitely wouldn't use it on a track. In fact, they tell you to block off your mirrors/tach because they don't want you looking anywhere else but where you're going. The only tech I use now are my noise cancelling headphones. It's like having earplugs in, except they don't hurt, play music too, and I have a button to use the microphones in the headphones to enhance noise rather than cancel it so I can hear my buddy next to me when we stop as if I didn't have a helmet on. It's pretty great. And the latest addition is a sound recorder placed under the seat with a blutooth thingie that goes to my phone so I can toggle either hearing my music with no wind noise or my bike with no wind noise. It's hard to choose sometimes A dream come true would be a helmet that has the same features my headphones do at the same quality built into the helmet. I think Sena was making a helmet like this.

https://www.sena.com/product/noise-control-helmet/

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post #17 of 21 Old 04-13-2017, 03:03 AM
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Eh, I don't really see myself caring all that much for that tech. You definitely wouldn't use it on a track. In fact, they tell you to block off your mirrors/tach because they don't want you looking anywhere else but where you're going. The only tech I use now are my noise cancelling headphones. It's like having earplugs in, except they don't hurt, play music too, and I have a button to use the microphones in the headphones to enhance noise rather than cancel it so I can hear my buddy next to me when we stop as if I didn't have a helmet on. It's pretty great. And the latest addition is a sound recorder placed under the seat with a blutooth thingie that goes to my phone so I can toggle either hearing my music with no wind noise or my bike with no wind noise. It's hard to choose sometimes A dream come true would be a helmet that has the same features my headphones do at the same quality built into the helmet. I think Sena was making a helmet like this.

https://www.sena.com/product/noise-control-helmet/
That sounds like an awesome helmet. One of the 1st things I did when I started riding was to take a set of over the ear head phones and remove the speakers. I took the speakers and mounted them inside the helmet. It took a bit of work, but I finally got a system that was really great. iPod with remote that's outside the tank bag, head phone amp, and speakers removed from headphones glued into the helmet.

The downside is that they are wired and there is no noise control.

I live with it because the speakers and amp were about $140. I just made up a new helmet the same way, the size of the speakers really matters, it's not quite loud enough, the speakers can't quite handle the volume.

Can't wait for some day when all helmets could be on WiFi/BT to communicate with each other, have speakers, retractable sun glasses built in and better venting.

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post #18 of 21 Old 04-13-2017, 01:59 PM
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A dream come true would be a helmet that has the same features my headphones do at the same quality built into the helmet. I think Sena was making a helmet like this.

https://www.sena.com/product/noise-control-helmet/
They announced this helmet in late 2015 and I haven't heard a single update since... I was pretty excited about it when they announced it, but the lack up updates has me tapering off my interest.

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post #19 of 21 Old 04-13-2017, 02:14 PM
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again...why it happens I have not a clue........but it's always "Vaporware".
the headlines come out.....OOOooo...AHhhhh....the helmet with the HUD that has "Jarvis" Stark tech built-in".......OOOOOoooo.............AHhhh...then POOF! gone in a blink of an eye.
Sad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
They announced this helmet in late 2015 and I haven't heard a single update since... I was pretty excited about it when they announced it, but the lack up updates has me tapering off my interest.

VintageHunter
Location: Shambhala
"always looking for that next find".
1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #20 of 21 Old 04-13-2017, 03:15 PM
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Similar to the Fusar smart headcam thing. Made a big deal when it came out and now not even a peep. I guess they realised how hard it is to create a proper smart headcam that's connected to the cloud etc etc.

People with no industry experience get into this thinking they'll become wizards over night and make gold coins rain lol



Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageHunter View Post
again...why it happens I have not a clue........but it's always "Vaporware".
the headlines come out.....OOOooo...AHhhhh....the helmet with the HUD that has "Jarvis" Stark tech built-in".......OOOOOoooo.............AHhhh...then POOF! gone in a blink of an eye.
Sad.

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post #21 of 21 Old 04-13-2017, 07:16 PM
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Similar to the Fusar smart headcam thing. Made a big deal when it came out and now not even a peep. I guess they realised how hard it is to create a proper smart headcam that's connected to the cloud etc etc.

People with no industry experience get into this thinking they'll become wizards over night and make gold coins rain lol
I think this is the real heart of the issue. I started a business in college making custom business software. It was a TON of work. Years later I make my first full product and the amount of work was just unreal. All the little details just keep going and going.

I have a new idea for a home automation system and have stalled it several times because I know the amount of work involved in getting something to market. Most have no clue all that is involved. Just finding a suppler, finding the equipment, etc...
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