Skully was on the path to revolutionise in-helmet display systems with their augmented reality AR-1 helmet that features a built-in 180° Blindspot Camera and Heads-Up Display, but it sounds like those helmets might never see the light of day. If the reports from TechCrunch that Skully is closing down are correct, this could mean more than 3,000 people who pre-ordered a helmet may never get one. Whether the customers would receive a refund is unclear at present.
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The shutdown would also leave several vendors and Skully’s manufacturer Flextronics with unpaid bills, and around 50 full-time employees out of a job.
There is, however, still some hope that the company may survive: marketing VP Carlos Rodriguez told TechCrunch late Tuesday night that “the Skully executive team is working diligently on closing a round of funding so that we can continue to fulfill our pre-orders and delight our customers.” Whether this results in the company continuing or not, the constant delays in delivering the product, recent change of top management and the latest news about a closedown will not leave the customers particularly hopeful of ever receiving the helmets.
The news of the possible closedown come only a few days since Skully had their new CEO, Martin Fichter, announce via the company’s blog that people would be getting their helmets soon: “I understand the burning question many customers are asking is: Will I get my helmet? The answer is yes… By the end of this month, 400 AR-1s will be in the hands of customers. With the backing of some of the world’s most innovative investors, I can confidently say that we have all the resources we need to deliver the rest of our pre-orders.”
What the reality behind the conflicting reports is, will hopefully be clear in the next few days. All we know for certain is that Skully is not taking any more orders at present. We tried to order helmets from Skully online today, but the website claimed no helmets were available in any size or colour due to ‘inventory issues’.
We’ll keep following the story and bring you the latest as the story unfolds.