If you didn’t check your calendar today, you would be wowed by Safeboda’s brilliant fool’s day prank; a futuristic helmet spotting a solar panel, WiFi, USB port and VR screen on which you can watch Netflix while on your ride.
But how close to reality can this helmet which seems to be straight from the next iteration of Black Panther be?
Well, on the face of it, it’s not so far fetched. All the technology to make this helmet a reality is available today. It’s a question of cost and useability.
First lets look at the WiFi feature. Is it possible to have WiFi on a helmet. Yes. Today even wristbands, smart watches, Single Board Computers and all sorts of miniature gadgets support WiFi. With WiFi onboard the helmet, riders can stream content from online sources via wide selection of public hotspots. But expect a lot of buffering as the Safeboda helmet hops from one sparsely located hotspot to another. We have written before how public WiFi in Kampala really sucks even in 2019.
What’s more plausible however, should have been 4G LTE support on the helmet. 4G or mobile internet is a lot more readily available and reliable option of internet around Kampala especially for moving targets like Boda Bodas than WiFi. 4G LTE option would require sim card owned by Safeboda on every passenger helmet preloaded with data which is possible.
USB port on the helmet is definitely possible, but for what? Charging? Maybe because the electronics inside the helmet will need some constant juice. But then the helmet has a solar panel which should be the source of energy of the whole helmet. Perhaps it’s for running technical diagnostics and running software updates? What about uploading offline content to the Helmet’s internal SD card so that riders don’t have to use data to stream content? Maybe! For now, I would say the USB port is a randant feature with no plausible use cases.
Lastly the screen display on the helmet which is mostly meant for vision could possibly turn into a screen for watching content. Clever idea, but then the screen is too close to the passenger’s eyes. Maybe Safeboda could use Virtual Reality Technology here akin to the Oculus Rift to bring immersive viewing experience to riders while on bumby boda boda ride. Would you go for it? Perhaps not. I would be worried about my Safety than try catching the next season of Game of Thrones. When you take a Boda boda ride, you always have to be onguard, constantly on the lookout for other notorious motorists on the Kampala’s chaotic roads else you lose a leg.
Instead a helmet which also doubles as headphone would be a more plausible idea. I would feel more safer listening to podcasts, radio or listening to music while on that Boda boda ride than watching anything.
Even though this will pass as another Fool’s day prank, Solomon King has a word for Safeboda;
Announce your most audacious, seemingly outrageous and impossible goals on Fools Day and then start working towards them.
What to read interesting and potentially inspiring Prank’s we have written about? What about Uganda to build karuma city in response to Kenya’s Konza city.