Now cyclists around the world can forget about huge and uncomfortable helmets that limit movement and look unfashionable.
Swedish students Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin designed a revolutionary device that is proven to be as safe as an ordinary bike helmet; however they are invisible. Anna Haupt says: “I always thought bike helmets were extremely uncomfortable.”“They are so bulky, like a mushroom on your head,” Terese Alstin adds.
Designers came up with this idea during their Masters’ course at the University of Lud.“ Our professor said: ‘I have to sit down… You are going to be millionaires,’ says Anna Haupt.The girls contacted a head trauma specialist and studied all possible bicycle situations. It took 7 years to develop the invention and now it is available to buy for everyone. Moreover, the helmet’s safety has been approved by EU regulations. However only people over 15 are allowed to use it.
The Swedish girls decided to stick to the rule “everything genius needs to be simple”. The invisible helmet is an airbag for cyclists. Just like an airbag every car has, this one will open as soon as a bike hits something. The helmet in an offline mode looks like a collar, it is available in different colors.
Designers analyzed thousands of road situations with cyclists and compared it to hundreds of hours of regular cycling with the invisible helmet. Hövding airbag is made of very stiff nylon that will remain safe even when it hits the ground. When the collar ejects a helmet, it covers almost all of the head, leaving a little space for the vision. The designers say it is more effective than a regular helmet as it protects a larger area. Also, the shock absorption is a lot more soft and gentle, providing protection in the areas of head that require it most. The airbag effect remains for several seconds after the incident, which gives an extra support.
Hövding decided to use the same trick that every airplane has. They put a small black box that records up to 10 seconds of data on the owner’s movement patterns during the incident. The company also asks their customers to send this data back to them, which helps them to take a deeper research and resolve some issues.
Generally, it is proven to work in 100% of situations. It inflates in less that 0,1 seconds, which makes it as safe as a normal helmet. Hövding has special detectors inside that will notice a sudden jolt. Hövding helmet works on a battery, which can be easily charged via computer or even a simple mobile telephone charger. The power in the battery usually lasts for about 18 hours. To help customers keep an eye on the battery level, designers put a LED indicator at the front of the collar.
Helmetless appearance costs a fair penny more than a regular protective hat. In online shops they put a price of €399. Such inspiring inventions have already come to life; the next step will be to make them cheaper. Fortunately, the cycling trend is getting more and more popular around the globe and such devices make life of bicycle lovers easier.
Would you prefer a fancy “invisible” helmet or a regular one?