Syn Nine is an industrial cyberpunk band from Orlando, Florida with a musical style that can best be described as “Daft Punk meets Neal Stephenson.” And that style doesn’t stop with the music; their shows are also a theatrical cyberpunk performance. To really amp up the visuals, one of their members built this awesome cyberpunk helmet.
As you can plainly see, this helmet has a beautifully distinct aesthetic that gives the wearer a cool “faceless drone” sort of look. We can only speculate, but it probably makes going to a Syn Nine show feel like you’re in a dystopian cyberpunk future where augmented humans are forced to rock by a malevolent AI for robot amusement. Aside from the obvious stylistic appeal of the finished helmet, the build process is fascinating in its own right.
The project started with a cheap virtual reality headset, like the kind you clip your phone into. That was then layered with heaps of RGB LEDs, an RGB LED matrix, and a couple of alphanumeric displays. Those are controlled by Arduino-compatible microcontroller development boards — at least one of which appears to be an Adafruit Metro. Power comes from a rechargeable battery pack.
You’re probably wondering how the wearer is supposed to see out of the helmet while they’re playing music, and they came up with a clever solution for that. Facing out from the helmet is a small spy camera, and that sends video to an LCD screen inside of the helmet. It likely doesn’t give the best view, but it does let them see while they’re putting on what has to be an amazing show.