For most cyclists, the thing they hate about riding a bike is having to wear a cycle helmet. And for those parents who have ever tried to get their kids to wear one, they’ll know exactly how difficult it can be. But now, thanks to a new invention by a Swedish company, wearing a helmet may soon be a thing of the past.
A team consisting of two Swedish women have developed the world’s first invisible helmet. The pair started their research back in 2005, where they began to look at airbag technology, and how this could be incorporated into a helmet. During their research, they studied thousands of cycling accidents and collaborated with the airbag manufacturer Alva Sweden. This has resulted in the Hövding, a revolutionary bicycle helmet, designed for the modern cyclist.
This safety helmet is virtually undetectable and can easily be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe, with a complimentary extra shell that can be worn to help disguise the helmet. The difference between standard cycling helmets and the Hövding is that this one is worn as a collar around your neck. Inside the collar is an airbag that inflates at the point of impact and protects the head in the event of an accident.
The Hövding works by using sensors that are constantly monitoring the cyclist’s movements when it is switched on. These sensors are able to detect any changes in velocity or angle of the cyclist and can make the distinction between normal cycling and accidents. If the sensors detect an accident the Hövding will then trigger the airbag. This inflation only takes a tenth of a second (0.1 seconds) before the airbag is fully inflated.
The team behind this new type of cycle helmet came up with the idea of a collared airbag, after a new law was introduced in Sweden, where children up to the age of 15 had to wear a helmet. After this law there was a debate on whether helmets should also be mandatory wear for adults as well. The Hövding team decided to develop a helmet that consisted of a collar and a shell, and designed it with the premise that people would want to wear it, whether is was mandatory or not.
The collar contains the actual airbag system and provides the safety feature, whilst the shell is manufactured to help camouflage the collar, allowing you to mix it up with your wardrobe.
And for those who think that a standard helmet may provide better protection in the case of an accident should know that in tests, of the 13 most common cycle helmets available on the market, the Hövding provided more than three times better shock absorption than any other helmet.
The Hövding collar costs €399 and the shells retail at €59 each.
For more information check out hovding.com.