motorcycle helmet HUD and auto texting

Hello everyone,

Before i purchase a arduino uno I want to know if, what im thinking is easily do able.

Im a keen motorcyclist.

First off i want to create some sort of HUD in my helmet. All i need i think is two 7-seg displays. My bike only goes to 95mph.

so I think I need for starters is a gps shield for a speed sensor

Also I want to be able to send a number of pre determined texts to maybe one or two numbers. So im thinking a gprs shield with maybe a lcd screen. And some sort of scroll switch to select what message I want, another scroll switch to display the number I want and a button to send the text.

also could you advance the system by introducing another arduino in the home which would recieve the text message and output a pre-recorded voice file via speaker.


I would be greatful of any other ideas that might be beneficial for a motorcyclist


I'm also a motorcyle rider, and this seems like a dangerous and potentially illegal idea.

I would suggest closely researching the legality of this before going any further.

If it is legal, I would still suggest not doing this.

First off i want to create some sort of HUD in my helmet.

I think there are two main problems with this. On the optical side, you need to provide a screen that presents information in a readable form correctly focused around infinity. This is going to be very hard to do well. Done badly, it would be a dangerous source of distraction and eye strain. On the mechanical side, you need to mount the hardware close to your face without putting anything inside the helmet and without weakening the structure of the helmet by drilling mounting holes. Obviously, if you fitted something that came loose and was flapping around in front of your face, it would be very dangerous. And obviously, whatever you put in front of your eye is going to be smashed into your face in the event of a fall or collision. All the schemes I try to imagine for this are hopelessly dangerous. Maybe you will have better imagination than I do, but to me this project seems fraught with dangers.

As rogue_wraith and PeterH have stated, this is potentially dangerous project, especially using any type of commonly available LCD for your HUD. The only types of display that I can think of that wouldn't have most of the drawbacks they already mentioned would be using some sort of holographic projection or thin film display with completely transparent "whitespace" and could be securely glued to the visor. However, I don't know if commercially available versions of either technology exist, especially in a form useful and affordable for this type of project. Even if they did it might not solve all the optical complications, and there still is the potential for obstruction and distraction.

I don't know if you should abandon this project, but if you proceed you'll should do a lot of research into non-standard electronic displays and do a lot of prototyping and safety testing (even potentially destructive physical testing) before you even think using this while on a motorcycle on private property, much less a public road.

i may give the HUD a miss.

Though what about automatic texting. Controls would be around the handle bars within reaching distance of the thumbs as well as the lcd screen to display the predetermined text number.

Im not say im going to text while riding (only when stationary). but its a pain taking off your gloves or getting into your bag to retrieve your phone to text or make a call. It would be nice to scroll through some selections and send a text to your wife. Could i also get the arduino to send a text if im involved in a crash using some kind of accelerometer interface or excessive lean angle?

Another thing is poor sighting from mirrors on a motorcycle. If i installed a rear camera and maybe a button to activate it when needed, viewed from a small LCD screen around the speed display

When I get on my motorcycle I like to ride and not worry about the geeky stuff.
In fact I don't want to have the time to think about anything but keeping my focus on my environment around me.
That said, when I do go on extended trips, the laptop, the ipod, the creative mp3 and the DSLR all go in the top-box.
But that definitely means no distractions whatsoever while riding.

I understand the pain that it is to take cloves off to check mobile phone, but that is the way it is on a motorcycle, it usually means it's a good time for a break and check out the scenery.
If you must make a call while riding, then pair up your phone to your bluetooth GPS or helmut approved head-set and configure it to respond to voice commands.

On the road, I personally wouldn't want to see you coming toward me and seeing you fiddling with buttons!

Ah, motorcycling, mmmmm, just back from a long ride through the French Alps with tent, wine et fromage et baguette, mmmmm, going back in June for another 10k summer trip :smiley:


I too am a motorcyclist and a geek. That being said, of course I've already looked into the Iron-Man style HUD.

The first problem is the optics side. You can't have a screen that close to your eyes (inside the helmet) and be able to focus on it. Impossible, unless you want some crazy expensive holographic display on your helmet vizor itself.

And LCD display will just be blurry to you. Put your cell phone (while NOT riding) on the inside of your helmet and try to focus on it. You'll see. A HUD is best placed in your dash, or clutch-side somewhere.

SO. What you can do is this:

  1. Buy these things:
    a. A 12 volt usb car charger thing. About $5
    b. A 12 volt solar battery tender. About $25

  2. Mount the solar panel on your bike and connect the leads to the USB charger and stash the wires under your seat. The solar panel puts out just enough juice to charge a cell phone/power arduino. Added doesn't drain your bike battery when you have it parked at the bar.

  3. Some adhesive velcro or a commercially available stand will put your cell phone/LCD in your dash. With one strip of velcro and a loose windscreen, my phone held in place well over 95mph. (sportbike rider)

  4. Some high-end cell phones already have blue-tooth voice control for sending e-mail, opening apps, and sending texts.

That being said...don't do this. Seriously. I'm a huge geek and I've tried the whole GPS mounted HUD on my bike. For Navigation...its fine. But for monitoring your satellite fix, breaking speed records, and trying to check facebook was a huge fail. My fingers kept slipping or missing the touch screen...I kept opening up angry birds... And doing all of that while in traffic...

My driving was terrible and I was a huge threat to myself and others. And for high performance riding, I didn't even have time to USE my HUD. Clutching and breaking kept my hands pretty tied up.

What I WOULD recommend is this: Keep your HUD. But keep it off unless you are parked and safe, even if it is bluetooth/voice controlled.

When you ARE parked and safe, I'll add this tidbit of geek advice. A geek bike is a nerdy-girl magnet. Nothing is more appealing to them than a bike with serial ports, solar panels, and mobile wifi hotspot. So make sure you park by Books-a-Million or a internet cafe.

If you want to geek out and drive safely (and are a bit of a rebel), I would recommend this something else. Stash a cell phone jammer in your bike. It is geeky, hi-tech, cheap, and illegal. However, it ensures all the cars around you are OFF the cell phone.

For liability purposes, know the law and don't do anything illegal. Be good and pay taxes and don't ask questions of the government.

For biker purposes, we didn't buy bikes because we like to conform. We bought bikes to do our own thing. your own thing.