The traditional bicycle helmet might soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a pair of Swedish inventors.
Introducing the Hovding. The so-called invisible helmet is stored in a pouch worn around the neck. When a rider crashes, within milliseconds a helium canister inflates a nylon hood — like an air bag. (Via NBC)
Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, the inventors, added sensors to the Hovding that analyze movement patterns 200 times a second to know when the rider is in a real crash.
To perfect the sensors, the two women simulated icy roads, car collisions and other causes of crashes. Normal movements made by riders won't trigger the Hovding. (Via Focus Forward Films)
Because the device stays inflated for several seconds, the head can sustain multiple impacts without damage. It also covers more of the face and neck while still allowing the wearer to see. (Via Fusion)
The inventors created the helmets to give adult riders an alternative to head protection as a mandatory helmet law for younger riders in Sweden goes into effect. Plus, they didn't like the way traditional helmets looked on their heads.
Haupt said: "We don't like, as designers, to have this attitude that it's people who need to change, instead of the product that needs to change. And that's why we decided to see if we could improve them."
The Hovding isn't exactly cheap — costing around $500. And there is at least one drawback: the helmets can only withstand one crash. (Via Hovding)
Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait for their own invisible helmets, as they're not yet available outside of Europe.