Project image
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$17,611
pledged of $250,000pledged of $250,000 goal
155
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 13 2014 11:16 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 23, 2016

HelSTAR: The Wireless Helmet Brake & Signal Light

The wireless, helmet brake and turn signal system designed to make riders more visible! By Third Eye Design.

HelSTAR: The Wireless Helmet Brake & Signal Light

The wireless, helmet brake and turn signal system designed to make riders more visible! By Third Eye Design.

$17,611
pledged of $250,000pledged of $250,000 goal
155
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 13 2014 11:16 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 23, 2016

About

Motorcycle visibility: we all know it’s an issue. What’s more, studies around the world share the same findings: the main reason motorcyclists get hit is because they aren't seen. Because motorcycle brake lights have a low placement, being approached by a car or truck while stopped in traffic is one of the most dangerous situations a rider can encounter.

Of course, we all want this situation to get better. That’s where HelSTAR comes in—the wireless, helmet brake and turn signal system designed to increase visibility and save lives.

Save the life of someone you love - maybe even your own!! With HelSTAR, a secondary brake and turn signal is placed in the line of sight of following motorists. It uses state-of-the-art LEDs that tell motorists around you when you’re braking or turning—and really gets their attention. It installs easily on any motorcycle and any helmet. Our chipset is fully programmable and simply updated to add features (like brake modulation).

HelSTAR's Dramatic Impact (above)

As seen in:

Designed with Visibility in Mind. Designed by you! We've spent hundreds of hours talking to thousands of riders to get their feedback and have incorporated everything we've learned into our design. We kept a close eye on manufacturing and focused our attention on keeping costs down. HelSTAR will retail for $179 in stores and will not be discounted. Here’s your chance to order one now at significant savings and help improve motorcycle visibility.

Our design makes use of a proprietary, patented ultra-low power technology: 

 • Almost all battery power is for LED illumination instead of RF communication with the motorcycle – which means brighter lights and longer battery life. It also means there’s no on-off switch for the helmet—it works without any user intervention! You cannot forget to turn it on – or off - and have the batteries die. 

• Breakaway design helps prevent neck injuries in the event of a fall. 

• Automatic diagnostics include battery check, RF communication and LED function. 

• A single helmet receiver can link to multiple transmitters (motorcycles) and you can mate a single transmitter (motorcycle) with multiple receivers (helmets). 

• Hundreds of thousands of unique codes prevent cross communication with other units and stray interference. 

• Designed to work with virtually all 12V systems, including CAN-Bus. 

• User programmability ensures compatibility and allows for future functionality and enhancements (like brake modulation). • Meets or exceeds DOT standards. 

• Made proudly in the USA 

See what experts have had to say:

 Our prototype unit - piloted in the US to much success - is what you see in our campaign. Our final design is lower profile, sexy and will have an injection molded lens.

 Born from personal experience. Our story began after a near collision with a motorcyclist who had a low-mounted hard-to-see taillight. At that instant, the idea for the HelSTAR, wireless motorcycle helmet brake and turn signal system was born.

HelSTAR Inventor 

Since then, Third Eye Design has been working with one of the world’s foremost experts in low frequency RF communication. We’ve developed proprietary technology, obtained a patent, met with thousands of motorcyclists and performed national market research. We’ve built a leadership team of internationally recognized experts, syndicated authors and leaders with impressive track records. Today, after nearly 10 years of research and development, focus group studies, RF engineering, patent work, national market research and a U.S. pilot, we’re ready to go to market. 

Price and performance! We meet or exceed DOT specifications for brake and signal lights. Our firmware is upgradeable so you get the latest features and options. We are built tough in the USA which allows us to provide a hassle free warranty. Our retail price will be $179 and will not be discounted in stores. 

Our pilot program is over, but our campaign is just kicking into gear. In June, we kicked off a U.S. pilot program for HelSTAR. Participants included a diverse group of experienced riders including motorcycle dealer owners, master mechanics, state safety coordinators and instructors, neurosurgeons, and emergency room trauma doctors. On September 30th, the pilot program came to an end. The results: simply outstanding! Feedback and performance exceeded our expectations. We learned a lot and were able to react quickly to issues that arose. In every case, we were able to adjust and fine-tune our units without hardware modification—a testament to our design and technology innovation. 

HelSTAR in Traffic

Ready to roll out. Are we ready? You bet. Here’s why: 

• We have a strong patent on a design that’s feature-rich and cost-effective to manufacture. 

• Results of national market research exceeded expectations. 

• Our US Pilot results exceeded expectations and our technology proved to be effective, reliable and robust.

• We’ve contracted with a U.S. manufacturing firm for production, so we know we have good quality control and costs that allow retailers to price it below our consumer acceptance identified price.

Join the movement. Become a HelSTAR backer. We've built a lot of momentum and interest. RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring and Travel Magazine (http://www.roadrunner.travel/), the industry’s premier motorcycle magazine, learned about HelSTAR and wanted to help. We welcomed their support! 

We have improved our design - it will be a smaller with a lower-profile injection-molded lens. We’re shrinking our design and optimizing our electronics. We’re aiming for full launch in Spring 2015 and are hoping you’ll help us fund our transition from pilot to production. 

By becoming a HelSTAR backer, you can do more than improve motorcycle visibility for good, you can help prevent thousands of permanent injuries and save countless lives. Maybe even your own—or the life of someone you love. 

Join Us. Give us your support. Get a head start on some cool HelSTAR gear in return.

Riders Give HelSTAR Thumbs UP! 

Here’s what our pilot participants said about their own experience with HelSTAR: 

• "If this saves just one life, it's worth its weight in Gold." • "Why didn't someone come up with this 30 years ago?!" 

• "More than a great idea, a necessary accessory" 

• "Should be standard equipment on helmets from now on" 

• "I won't ride without it" 

• "It protects not only me, buy my family and other motorists as well"

• "I seriously don't want to be riding without one at this point." 

• "Everywhere I went people stopped me to comment on what a great idea and to ask where they can get one." 

• "My wife loves that I am testing this and comments every time she sees me ride with it."

FAQs 

Q) What makes your product unique? A) Our transmitter and receiver use ground breaking electronics circuitry that effectively has no impact on battery drain. Battery life is only governed by LED illumination. This allows for brighter LED’s, longer battery life and a safer unit where the user cannot forget to turn it on (avoiding the potentially dangerous error of not having it work) or turn it off (and have the batteries die). Essentially, the receiver unit is always on. It reacts within milliseconds to a signal and operates on such low power consumption that effective battery life is equal to the shelf life of the battery. (The real drain is LED time and we use the brightest, most efficient available.) 

Q) What are the key features?A) There is no on/off switch. You can’t forget to turn it on or turn it off. A) The unit has automatic diagnostics and reporting that test function, LEDs and battery (functionally, a “chirp” tells the user that all systems are working properly upon each initial activation after an extended period of inactivity or storage) as well as a dimly lit LED when battery power drops below acceptable levels. A) A single receiver can be linked to multiple transmitters (motorcycles - e.g., a single rider owning multiple motorcycles). A single transmitter (motorcycle) can be linked to multiple receivers (helmet units). A) Unit features hundreds of thousands of codes to insure that non-related units do not interfere with each other.  A) Our transmitter unit is sealed in epoxy to eliminate damage by exposure to water, humidity or vibration. This makes the unit maintenance free and robust. 

Q) Can the helmet light/receiver be installed on a shorty helmet? A) Our unit can be installed on any standard DOT helmet meant for street use with a smooth hard surface (i.e. it won’t adhere to a leather covered helmet). The only other requirement is the real-estate to install it - an unobstructed surface area of approximately 5" x 2.5" wide.

Q) Where can I buy one of your units? A) Third Eye Design is currently raising funds to complete production and initiate US sales. Retail units will be made available to Kickstarter backers in advance. 

Q)  Do you have products other than the motorcycle helmet brake and signal light? A) Yes. A wireless bicycle running and brake light is in prototype and we have been contacted by several companies interested in our technology - stay tuned!. 

Q) How difficult is it to install? A) The transmitter installs with 5 simple connections and quick-connect posi-tap connectors. A basic understanding of motorcycle systems and wiring (and access to them) are all that is needed. The helmet piece attaches easily with safe, high performance transparent hook and loop tape. We worked closely with 3M to find a mounting system that is strong, unaffected by temperature or weather and won't damage a helmet. 

Q) Will it work with CAN-Bus systems? A) Yes! Our technology was designed to work with virtually all 12v motorcycle electrical systems. 

Q) Is your technology safe? A) Absolutely! Our receiver produces less RF noise or radiation than a 20” loop of wire (i.e. it is no more dangerous than wearing a coat hanger on your head) and is not impacted by typical infrared or radio frequency noise often found in urban areas. 

Q) How much will the unit cost? A) With US design and manufacturing, we are estimating a retail price of $179. 

Q) I have more than one motorcycle, can I use my helmet with all of them? A) Absolutely! A single helmet can be linked to multiple transmitters. (e.g. someone who rides more than 1 bike) 

Q) I have one motorcycle but multiple helmets, can I link them all to a single motorcycle? A) Yes! A single transmitter can be linked to multiple receivers (or helmets - e.g., 1 motorcycle in a family with more than 1 driver). 

Q) Can the receiver/helmet light be moved from helmet to helmet? A) Yes, our high performance attachment method allows you to easily move it to a passenger helmet when necessary.

Q) How hard will it be to change from one helmet to another? A) It’s easy to switch. You will get 2 mounts with our system. We worked closely with 3M to find a fastener that is safe for your helmet, secure in all-weather types and temperatures and allows you to move HelSTAR between helmets. This means you can move it between 2 different helmet types or between driver and passenger so it is always on the most visible helmet!

Q) How hard is it to install? A) It installs easily. We use new, posi-tap connectors that can tap wires in a way that total wire integrity is maintained. The transmitter connects to power, ground, brake and left and right directional. The transmitter itself is sealed and can be located almost anywhere - under the seat, behind the seat, etc. - wherever wires are easy to get to. It draws almost no power and works on all motorcycles, including those with CAN Bus electrical systems. Once installed, it requires no maintenance or user intervention. It syncs automatically with your motorcycle and sends brake and turn signals to your helmet receiver. The helmet receiver attaches easily with special 3M tape, and 2 mounts are included so it can be switched quickly between helmets. Batteries are installed by removing 2 screws.

Q) What is the expected battery life and what kind of batteries will this use? A) Our pilot units used (2) AAA and we had participants who used them for an entire season without needing to change them. Our RF protocol uses almost no battery energy - so battery consumption relates directly to LED use - the more you are on your brake the faster you need to change the batteries (that said, LEDs are getting both brighter and more efficient all the time). I would expect 2-3 months in average use, perhaps longer. If you are in a parade, a lot less, lol. For the final unit we are considering CR123 batteries which may allow for a daytime running light feature.

Q) The light seems large and bulky. Hopefully you can slim it down some before retail release? A) The helmet light you see in the campaign is a prototype unit we piloted in the US. We were more concerned with the electronics during the pilot, since we knew we could make it smaller in its final form. The final unit will have an injection molded lens that will light red for brake and yellow for directional. It will be approximately half the height you see in the pilot units (see conceptual illustration in the campaign story). Our pilot participants were happy with the footprint, just not the height so the final version will have a lower profile. We had no issues or complaints about weight or wind noise – pilot participants didn’t know it was on their helmet.

Q) Will there be add-ons available later? For example, I'd like to be able to get a second mount for my wife's helmet. That way when we ride two-up I can put it on hers. A) The unit comes with 2 mounts - and is easily transferred between helmets. We will offer transmitter and receivers separately for families who share 1 bike or for individuals who have more than 1 bike but fewer helmets.

Q) Can it be swapped between helmets? A) Absolutely! We worked closely with 3M to secure a special hook and loop mounting system that is safe for your helmet, unobtrusive when the unit is not on your helmet, is secure in any weather conditions and allows for easy transfer between helmets. It is designed to break away in the event of a crash.

Q) Gmax has a system this, is yours different? A) Our unit is quite different from the Gmax. Since they need to focus most of their battery power on RF communication, their unit must be turned on and off every time you ride and the LEDs are not very bright - even at night. They don't integrate turn signals and their system won't work on CAN Bus motorcycles. It's not programmable and upgradable and cannot be moved from helmet to helmet (ie driver to passenger). they have done a nice job with integration, but their helmet light only works on a couple of models of Gmax helmets only. Ours works on any helmet and any motorcycle.

Q – I know I have seen this before. A – You may have seen a very different product. There is a reason a wireless helmet brake and signal light hasn't existed successfully before. Our technology didn't exist. Dimly lit LEDs, poor battery life, on and off switches and lack of other features don't make for a compelling product. HelSTAR is dramatically different - in every aspect.. In terms of ugly, please note, as we have stated, the unit you see is a prototype version we piloted in the US. Not the final, retail version which will be lower profile and much better looking. The unit you refer to is dramatically different than ours. We are very familiar with it and others that claim to do the same thing. Since they need to focus most of their battery power on RF communication, their unit must be turned on and off every time you ride. Forget to turn it on and it won't help you, forget to turn it off and the batteries will be dead the next time you need to use it. We have one of these - and the LEDs are not bright - even at night. Ours exceed DOT specifications and are very bright even in direct sun. Their system won't work on CAN Bus motorcycles. It's not programmable and upgradable and cannot be moved from helmet to helmet (ie driver to passenger). We couldn't find a single helmet it would fit to properly. Ours works on any helmet and any motorcycle. Ours offers built in diagnostics so you know the helmet is connect and working properly. We can turn on features like brake modulation, there is much more. And, we are proudly made in the USA

Q) Not everyone wears a helmet, are there other mounting options? A) Sure! We will have jacket clips, magnetic mounts and ways to add it to your boat or trailer. Stay tuned!

Our Website: http://thirdeyedesigninc.com/

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Third-Eye-Design-Inc/195860483870029 

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/3rdEyeDesign

Risks and challenges

Risks and Challenges:
As a PMP-certified project manager, I understand risks. I also understand risk mitigation plans and ours are robust. But that doesn’t mean we’re risk free. Here are the things I think about:

Technology costs:
This is a low risk—our hardware is solid and performed well in our pilot. Parts availability is good. Generally, these costs drop over time. But we’ll be keeping our eye on them.

Time:
The good news is, the closer we get to production, the more we understand exactly what we need to do and the risk is reduced. We've factored in extra time and resources into our budget, and based on our history (and success) here, we believe we’re in excellent shape to deliver as promised (production in Spring 2015).

For more information about this groundbreaking, lifesaving product, visit www.thirdeyedesigninc.com.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Show the world you care about rider visibility by sporting our cool T-shirt (see below)—featuring an eye-catching design that looks great on men and women.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Help bring a revolutionary motorcycle product to market – and then read all about it in RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine - motorcycle’s premier magazine! You'll get a 1 year subscription for your support, delivered to your home!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    By helping us to improve motorcycle visibility, you'll be one of the first to get our HelSTAR helmet system, way below retail pricing, before it hits the shelves! You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS! By helping us to improve motorcycle visibility, you'll be one of the first to get our HelSTAR helmet system, way below retail pricing, before it hits the shelves! You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    Be one of the first to get our HelSTAR helmet system before it hits the shelves! You’ll also get one of our cool t-shirts (shown below) to tell your friends you are part of our visibility revolution AND an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    Be one of the first to get our HelSTAR helmet system before it hits the shelves! You’ll also get a 1-year subscription to RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine, a premier motorcycle magazine. AND an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    This one gets it all! You get our great-looking T-shirt— AND get your name printed on the back as a key supporter. Plus, you'll be one of the first to get a HelSTAR helmet system to hit the streets with before it hits the shelves. You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS! This one gets it all! You get our great-looking T-shirt— AND get your name printed on the back as a key supporter. Plus, you'll be one of the first to get a HelSTAR helmet system to hit the streets with before it hits the shelves. You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Get the T-shirt with your name on the back as a key supporter, the subscription to RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine, and one free HelSTAR helmet system. In addition, you'll get to take your bike on a 2-day tour through NYS wine country with HelSTAR’s inventor—including a gourmet dinner and luxury stay in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country.* You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release. *Travel expenses to NYS Finger Lakes region not included. Passenger Fee is an additional $250.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    As an Earlybird, you’ll be one of the first to get our HelSTAR helmet system, at nearly half off, before it hits the shelves! You’ll also get an exclusive, no-charge firmware update that lets you turn on brake modulation so the brake light flashes before going solid. This will not be available in our initial retail release.

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Funding period

- (60 days)