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Directly at the Planai lower station, the data helmet from rideon can be tested free of charge for one hour until the end of the winter season. Photos: Schladming Dachstein

Fighter jet display on the piste

All details at a glance

The Mohawk data helmet gives the feeling of flying when skiing.

 

This helmet gives the feeling of being in the cockpit of a fighter jet, at least according to the idea of the developer. The “Mohawk” is a special ski and snowboarding helmet equipped with a mini camera, headset, GPS and navigation system and it should therefore create a completely new ride feel on the piste.

From fighter jet to piste

The idea originates from former F16 fighter pilot Alon Getz. During his time serving in the Israeli military, he continuously developed new augmented reality helmets to facilitate the work of the fighter pilots and ensure that their eyes remain fixed on the target in all circumstances. However, as an avid skier, he no longer wanted to develop only military tools but also to contribute to people’s recreational enjoyment.

 

By having founded the company rideon, he is now pursuing this aim. The smart ski and snowboarding helmet from the start-up not only impresses with its hidden technology; it is also immediately visible. A brightly coloured cockscomb on the helmet is both an eyecatcher and the technical centre of the data helmet.

Tom Bergkovitz

Mohawk helmet product manager

“For us, right now in the final test phase, it is important to collect as many opinions as possible from winter sports enthusiasts of different abilities, so that everyone will be able to enjoy the subsequent product. 

 

Austria was therefore right at the top of our testing wish list. The country offers an extensive and diverse range, which attracts many winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world; for us, this means we can amass many experiences. We are grateful to anyone who wants to try our helmet and we ask for feedback!”

The helmets of fighter pilots have long been equipped with socalled head-up displays. This means that all the important information for the flight is displayed directly on the visor. This principle has been adopted for the development of the Mohawk data helmet and adapted for sport. With the ski helmet, the desired information can be accessed directly during the downhill run.

 

The two pictures above provide an overview of the display structure. As you can see from these, functions such as time and speed are shown at all times. A slight upward movement of the head gives the additional option of selecting functions from an icon menu. The icons that are used make it possible both to connect with friends via the helmet and to play music.

 

Moreover, a mini camera and memory chip have been integrated into the helmet, allowing the wearer to take photos or record videos by “clicking” on the respective symbols, without rummaging in a pocket for a mobile phone.

 

 

The red sos button on the top edge of the screen allows communication with the control centre in an emergency. Aid can therefore be summoned quickly in an emergency. The GPS location of the hel- met then guides mountain rescuers directly to the winter sports enthusiast.

Operation

In the middle of the field of vision is a small cross, which is controlled by the head like a computer mouse. Moving this small cross to the icons by means of a head movement is equivalent to clicking and thus opens the dropdown menu. The prototypes are still being tested but the final product should come onto the market as early as next year. tm

The Mohawk in the SI test

The data helmet is certainly a fun piste accessory but sI wanted to see for itself whether the smart helmet increases the fun factor. The Mohawk has therefore been put through its paces by the SI editorial team on the pistes of schladming. As this was only a prototype, compromises had to be made with respect both to the dead weight of the helmet and to the fit.

 

Even in the first operating trials in the cable car, there was not enough space for the necessary head movements and there were certainly looks from fellow pas- sengers. The head control was not easy to manage even outside and it certainly takes some practice. When you have mastered the necessary tricks a little, you can have a lot of fun, especially with the video and music functions.

 

For the fine adjustments, such as the right volume, a little patience is sometimes needed. As there were problems with the GPS connection, the speed could be shown only infrequently or not at all and the poor fit of the helmet meant that the operating icons wobbled to and fro in the field of vision during the run – which could be dangerous, especially on a fast descent.

 

Conclusion: the helmet is a fun gadget for the piste but the prototype nature of the Mohawk is currently still very noticeable. The operating field and piste information display in the field of vision are probably a little disconcerting initially for many skiers. Nevertheless, it is a nice, fun idea that some people but certainly not everyone will enjoy.

 

You can definitely look forward to the finished product but at the moment, for safety reasons, the Mohawk should be used in the cable car or chalet rather than on the piste.