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Tapping Into Your Bike's Brains To Make You A Two-Wheeled Tony Stark

Illustration for article titled Tapping Into Your Bikes Brains To Make You A Two-Wheeled Tony Stark

We've seen a spate of "smart" helmets that incorporate tiny screens to show everything from navigation to rearview camera feeds, but none of them pull data from the motorcycle's onboard computer. A couple of Intel engineers decided to change that with a new chipset and a smartphone app that answers to "Hello Jarvis."


Stephanie Moyerman, an Intel engineer and Ninja 300 rider, worked with the company's software engineer Xiaochao Yang to cook up a way to use its new maker-friendly Edison chip to tap into the CAN bus of a BMW R1200 GS. That opened up a raft of information from the bike's brains, and they just needed an Arduino and the right software to parse it.

Illustration for article titled Tapping Into Your Bikes Brains To Make You A Two-Wheeled Tony Stark

After working with BMW to get access, they began pulling out the important bits of data and incorporating it into a dedicated app that receives the information over Bluetooth and plays it through the helmet's speakers.

When the bike fires up, the Edison chip connects to an Android smartphone and reads out a systems check (tire pressure, oil temp, etc.). That same check works while riding, so if you hit a pothole and want to make sure your tires are still holding air, you simply ask.

Voice commands work for navigation, so saying, "Hello Jarvis, take me home", will automatically load Google Maps and start audible turn-by-turn directions. Add in the CAN bus link that keeps tabs on, say, the fuel level and if there's not enough gas to get there, it can automatically route you to the nearest Shell.

The chip also has a WiFi connection, so you can also issue a voice command to turn on your GoPro to record the asshat on your morning commute.


The "Hello Jarvis" thing is a bit much and the story behind it is more of a glorified ad for Intel's new chip, but the ideas and integration are exactly the kind of stuff we'll see in future, both from the aftermarket and the big bike makers. But rolling your own without the help of BMW won't be happening anytime soon.

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Anyone else ever imagine they have a Terminator (or Iron Man) type heads up display inside their helmet? Like analyzing the slickness of the road, or likelihood of a car pulling out in front of you with percentages and readouts? no? just me? ok.