French startup to challenge incumbent HUD providers: Page 2 of 3

April 06, 2020 // By Julien Happich
Picking up on a particularly successful Kickstarter campaign which saw head-up display (HUD) startup Eye Lights raise over €800,000 within a month, eeNews Europe contacted the Toulouse-based company for a roadmap update since its official launch in 2016.

Now, seeing the market success of the company’s helmet HUD retrofit module, wouldn’t established motorbike helmet makers want a share of the pie?

The AR display as seen from the helmet-mounted eye-piece

“We’ve seen a number of smart helmets announced with built-in HUDs or visor displays over the last two or three years, but nothing reached the commercialization stage. It takes about two years to develop a new helmet and today, helmet manufacturers have to be very cost-competitive, there is less R&D money to spend and they remain focused on passive safety, securing the wearer against chocs. We bring all the technological bricks to add active safety, with HUD navigation, call pickup and Bluetooth remote control (via a simple wireless button on the handlebars)”, says Duflot.

Eye Lights is happy to share CAD files for the dock-in mechanism it uses so helmet manufacturers could integrate part of it, even as a hidden option under a small rubber flap. And yes, some companies reached out to the startup to figure out how they could make their helmets more HUD-ready or possibly integrate some of its technology bricks.

“We have the technology and know-how to address all sectors of mobility-related augmented reality, from in-visor HUD for fighter jet helmets to consumer motorbike helmets” notes Duflot, “but at much lower manufacturing costs than all the big players out there and with better performance, in full colour” he adds.

Asked when the company would break even, the CEO emphasizes that if it had solely focused on selling helmet HUDs for consumers, it would already be profitable on the basis of its previous kickstarter campaigns alone. But the company has made a strategic choice to seek investors’ funds to expand into other markets and broaden its product portfolio.

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