Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses The Almighty Buck News Technology Entertainment

AR Helmet Startup Skully Has Crashed and Burned ( 43

An anonymous reader writes from a report via TechCrunch: Sources inside the AR helmet company Skully say the startup is no more. TechCrunch reports: "Operations have ceased within the company, and we're told the website will be turned off at some point today. [Skully's CEO and co-founder Marcus Weller] has also been asked to sign a confidentiality deal with investors. Weller told TechCrunch today he will not sign and that he's completely walked away from all dealings with the company as of 10 days ago. The site is still up for now but it says Skully's AR-1 helmet is sold out in every size and no one is able to order. A source tells us sales were cut off on Monday. The shutdown leaves several vendors and Skully's manufacturer Flextronics with unpaid bills and at least 50 full-time employees out of a job. It's unclear if any of the vendors will be paid. That also means the more than 3,000 people who pre-ordered a helmet may never get one -- and one source tells us it's doubtful any of them will be receiving a refund." One source claims Weller botched a possible acquisition deal with Chinese company LeSports before leaving the company last week, while another says the deal might still happen now that the former CEO is gone. Weller is saying that he and his brother were forced out of the company after investors disagreed with the LeSports deal. Investors from Intel Capital ultimately determined it was best to simply shut down the entire company instead of trying to salvage the company Weller started. "We're disappointed Skully has closed its doors. We've been focused on the company's success for nearly two years and have recently been trying to negotiate a funding round to keep it going," Intel Capital said in a statement. "We're certainly sorry for the employees who are losing their jobs, the crowdfunding backers whose investments didn't work out and the customers who'd pre-purchased product. We continue to be excited by the promise of this kind of wearable technology."

UPDATE 8/10/16: Skully has sent an email to its customers telling them they have officially closed their doors. TechCrunch reports that the site is still up, but the company is no more. "Over the past several weeks our management team has worked feverishly to raise additional capital but unforeseen challenges and circumstances, beyond our control, made this effort impossible," the letter to customers reads. The company is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means customers will likely not be getting a refund on pre-orders for the $1500 AR helmet.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AR Helmet Startup Skully Has Crashed and Burned

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @07:32PM (#52586139)

    Go under, let go everyone that has equity, then rise again under the name of a few employees to sell it for all the profit for themselves.

    • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

      Having been a victim of this sort of thing, my heart goes out to the employee's and their families.

      It's the most devastating thing I have experienced as an adult.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The summary filled with whatever unicode sewage and (TM) and other crap making it hard to read. Good job again BeauHD!

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @07:35PM (#52586169)
    Editor burned by /. lack of unicode support. Ã(TM)! Ã(TM)!Ã(TM)!!!1!!11!
  • by naughtynaughty ( 1154069 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @07:58PM (#52586259)

    SKULLY presentation from The Next Big Thing in Wearable Technology at the Paley Media Council, December 9th, 2014 on their website.

    CEO gives a short presentation, sits down for the interview and pretty quickly he is asked if he is "in market", when he makes it clear that he has just pre-sold over $2M in product the interviewer says "You've got the cash, they don't have the helmet", sort of smirks and says "Good business model"


  • ....they could not be reached for comment. Must get the last bit of copper wiring and the last couple adding machines that were missed by other ex-coworkers

  • "Kickstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator's ability to complete their project."
    • by mlk ( 18543 )

      It is all about making what you think are acceptable risks. Kickstart something and you are part of the companies journey. Like everything, don't be silly with it and know what are you acceptable level of risk.

      I've risked it on 26 projects. 6 have not yet delivered (but I am very confident they will). I've written off one. Two of the products were not all that great. It was the companies first attempt and it showed. I don't regret helping them have a go. The rest have been a mix of acceptable and awesome.


  • by X10 ( 186866 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @10:04PM (#52586805) Homepage

    When you buy a helmet, you want a good fit. You go to the store, try all brands and models, until you find the good fit. Then you want safety. A strong shell, good padding, good foam layer. Then you want the right type (full face or other) and a good visor. Skully offered one model only. Statistically, one model only fits a minority of people. They had one choice of materials, type of helmet, visor. That limits the number of potential customers to only a few.
    I looked at them, and decided the helmet wasn't safe enough for me, and probably wouldn't fit.

    What they could have done instead is produce visors and build-in electronics for a range of well known helmet models. That way, I would have bought a Skully set for my preferred helmet.


      I've always thought that what they should have done was let the bulk of the processing be done by the user's phone and just have enough hardware to drive a mountable HUD, helmet audio, and rear view camera system that's mostly helmet independent and driven by Bluetooth. I have a Sena bluetooth unit on my helmet that I use to be able to take calls and get GPS nav audio from my phone while on my bike. It mounts to the side of the helmet in the seam between the foam layer and the shel

    • A company called NuViz tried to do exactly that. It was a HUD device that attached outside your helmet, almost like a Sena does. And they failed just like Skully.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What the hell is an AR helmet?

    It would be kind of nice if these acronyms were clarified in the summary.

    • What the hell is an AR helmet?

      Augmented Reality helmet. In principle a good idea though the technology probably Isn't-There-Yet (tm).

      It would be kind of nice if these acronyms were clarified in the summary.

      This is slashdot and you are expected to know how to look things up on google at minimum. Do try to keep up.

    • Anonymous, in this case, I believe AR stands for Augmented Reality (not Army Reserves, for example).

  • Welcome to our home, more fancy AR and VR device there []

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie