Motorcycle Rear-view With In-helmet Display

Want to see what’s behind you when riding your sport bike without taking your eyes off the road? They make rear view cameras for that but [Nescioqd] wanted a rear display right in his helmet (PDF). He started by mounting a rear-pointing camera on the back of the bike, powered from the 12V feed for the taillight. On the display side of things he picked up a Myvu Crystal wearable display. This is like a pair of glasses that have small LCD screens were the lenses should be. [Nescioqd] removed one lens and mounted it inside the helmet.

Since the display resides inside the helmet there is some concern about being able to see at night with a bright screen below your eyeball. [Nescioqd] actually ran into the opposite problem at first, bright sunlight makes it difficult to see the image on the LCD screen. He fixed this by picking up a dark tinted helmet visor (the easiest solution) but we’d love to see a photoresistor used to regulate the backlight level.

It would be interesting to see both screens used, with rear-view on one side and an instrument display on the other.

44 thoughts on “Motorcycle Rear-view With In-helmet Display

  1. Thoughts:
    #1. Cool.
    #2. A monitor on the front ferring/wind shield might be better. Larger screen, non intrusive.
    #3. My 92 Kawi 600 ninja had rampant Vreg problems…Kawi sux!
    #4. Metal bracket to the face. :(

  2. Wow Yuck….

    just buy the real thing with a REAL use-able view…

    Camera at plate level = useless view. I want it high up where I can see. Also I dont want a monitor that will embed it’s self in my eye socket when I come off the bike because some complete idiot in a SUV pulls out in front of me.

  3. @reevu evangelists:
    Has anyone actually seen one of these helmets? or know what they cost?
    do they have DOT or Snell safety ratings?

    I’d rather modify a Snell rated helmet than to strap on a helmet shaped novelty

  4. Wow!?! I love it when people do dangerous things in the name of safety. A few observations:

    as noted modifying the helmet to fit the display is not only dangerous, it’s illegal in most states.

    any one who has ever ridden a motorcycle knows you need 360 degrees of awareness; it’s a bad idea to even rely on your mirrors! much less make driving decisions based on what this shitty little camera sees.

    One question: are you still going to ride when you have only one eye after this lcd ends up embeded in your skull as some asshole changes lanes and hits you from outside the field of view of this camera?

  5. @Olestra
    Because your name illustrates a clear understanding of quality products, right? Olestra: You’ll shit liquid for a week if you eat it.

    As was mentioned, the Reevu helmet has the system built in and is currently being certified by the DOT. Modifying a Snell or ANY helmet to do something similar is a bad idea because you’re altering the approved safety structure. It’s also illegal in many places.

  6. I was contemplating doing something similar, with speed, RPM, gear and heading, possibly with turn by turn navigation, but because of safety concerns of ending up with an LCD embedded in my eye during an accident, I didn’t do it. I am considering starting this again with a small projector displaying on the visor instead, but have only got to the brainstorming stage. I imagine one could mount the relevant hardware to the outer shell and have it project trough a small hole in the helmet instead. Even then, I am leery of doing this, as compromising the shell of any helmet may negate its safety rating.

  7. I’ve never actually worn a reevu, but from what i saw it didn’t look very adjustable, if actually traveling at speed on my sportsbike i think i would only see sky(?).
    This mod is very cool, but the safety risk of the steel frame inside the helmet seems like an unnecessary trade-off to me.
    With work though the system could be very impressive.

  8. Modifying a helmet is one of those really unsafe things, like DIY scuba gear. Maybe not quite as dangerous, but the helmet gives a false sense of safety after it is modified. I can’t read the pdf, or docx, but the impact material in helmets it not meant to be modified. Once you compromise it, ditch it as it not going to perform as intended.

    On the other hand, if you live in a state that doesn’t require helmets, or just requires something that sits on your head, and you know the risk involved, then go for it. E.g. the state I live in only requires a helmet, no dot or snell rating; so if you want a visor and noise reduction, but no impact safety, you can drill all the holes you want in a full face helmet. Looks like a rather cool idea, would like to be able to actually see how they put it together. Not so much so that I will open a .docx file, though.

  9. @M4CGYV3R
    More exactly, I recognized a a product with limitless comedic potential — I still have a sealed bag of chips made with olestra!

    My comment about the reevu was actualy hoping someone had seen a real product, I’ve requested info, joined there mailing list, asked for a distributor’s contact info on multiple occasions stretching back to late march of this year(when I first heard of it).
    To date I have received no replies. I hope it’s real, I suspect it’ll be available when duke nukem forever is released.

  10. If the wearer of this helmet has an accident and his insurance company finds out, I suspect they would invalidate any claim he might make, or be used by the other party in a counterclaim.

    Modifying safety gear is a dumb thing to do.
    To then go and publicize it on the net is even dumber.

  11. I actually ride with a Reevu MSX1 and they are actually quite adjustable – the view mirror has about an inch of vertical adjustment and can also be adjusted through about 50 degrees of rake so you can set it up no matter where your eyeline is.

    Also, you set it up so that when you’re looking forwards you can see straight backwards – your riding position won’t make that much difference because you still have to look forward – if you’re riding a crotch rocket and can only see sky then you’re pretty much staring at your front wheel and are going to die soon anyway because you can’t see what’s in front of you.

    Seriously – the MSX1 is a much safer form of doing this.

  12. Although I think that this is a great idea, I am concerned about modifying the helmet that could save my life. I don’t say that in the abstract, I’ve gone down myself, and although I choose to wear a helmet, I know others don’t.

    (climbing down off my soap box)

    I would rather see this as a “designed in” feature rather than as an attachment to an existing helmet.

    If this could successfully be built in to the temples of my glasses, I’d be much more interested in trying it myself.

    Another problem I see with this idea, is being tethered to the bike, and as I move my head, the rear view does not change. I offer this as an alternative, because as I move my head, I would see what is in the opposite direction of my eyes, not an unchanging view of what is directly behind my bike.

  13. Why not just glue on a “nacelle” on the outside of the jaw you can glance down into or hanging down from the brow that can have the screen? Is there some reason you have to alter the helmet structure to attach something to it?

  14. Some company already designed something better than this, it uses a series of mirrors, so no electronics, and hardly weighs more than your average helmet.

    This is pointless and dangerous!

  15. Wow, I just noticed this got posted to hackaday! The reason I went with the HMD as opposed to a display on the forks was viewability. You’d have to look down beyond the instruments to see it and in any kind of sunlight would be unviewable. Also, turning around to check your blindspot takes your eyes and peripherals off of what’s in front of you, which would be fine if nobody is in front of you. In traffic behind a car, however, they could slam on their brakes while you’re distracted and then you’re screwed.

    Thanks for the comments (especially “I love it when people do dangerous things in the name of safety.” Love that one)

  16. @Pol
    “if you’re riding a crotch rocket and can only see sky then you’re pretty much staring at your front wheel and are going to die soon anyway because you can’t see what’s in front of you.”

    Obviously, just like this guy []:

    I was wondering about people’s experience with a reevu and whether it would work with an aggressive riding style.
    Would you seriously be able to see what is behind when wearing one in the stance shown above?
    Please withhold your opinion on the riding style pictured this time.

  17. OK, if you’re going 120 and take the time to care what is behind you, then you’re probably not going to live very long. When leaned forward on my bike, my mirrors are at such a level that things behind me are easily visible without hardly shifting my eyes. It doesn’t matter, though, because at that speed, all that really matters is what’s ahead of you!

  18. You need to keep an eye on the five-oh fading into the distance @ 120 ;-)
    But seriously, when track riding with no mirrors, being able to see behind you without physically turning around couldn’t hurt when picking your line.

  19. @Ryan

    They don’t fade in to the distance at 120. I was stopped for more than 70mph over the speed limit, on the freeway. I don’t track ride, so I can’t speak for that, but it seems that sound is everything in such situations. I don’t see how having an LCD screen glaring in your face at night, and straining your eyes by day, is any advantage at all.

    What no one seems to have mentioned is the time it takes many people’s eyes to switch from a very close focal distance (the LCD) to far – Mine definitely aren’t what they used to be. This thing would drive me f*&*ing nuts!!!

  20. Thanks for the fantastic idea. I already installed a backup camera and 3.5 inch monitor onto my sports bike, but as you mentioned in the PDF. Lighting, vibration, etc made viewing the display challenging. After reading your write up I went out and found a used pair of myvu crystal glasses for 40 bucks, hooked them up and am good to go.

    As an FYI , really no need to tear apart the glasses, I simply removed both arms and mounted the unit straight on the chin bar with Velcro. This allows for easy adjustments and removal, retains normal line of site, and won’t poke my eyes out in the event of a crash.

  21. I’m currently working on something along these lines, Ive actually started with a data gathering module for my bike. The second half of the project was going to be pretty much what you’ve done. Could you please relink the pdf, it would be good not to start from scratch. Either this or send it to me directly. ‘’

  22. If anyone is curious about the original document linked in the article.. The link in the original post and the other links that have been posted in comments up until now are all dead links. I was able to find a copy though and uploaded it in case anybody else wants to check it out. Here’s the link:

    If this link no longer works just look me up on any of many social networks and let me know, I don’t bite. ;)

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.