Think that the current bike helmets are not up to snuff? Do they crimp your style or mess up your hair? Now, you have an alternative - An airbag helmet that is both safe and in vogue.
The Hovding, which means chieftain in Swedish, is the brainchild of Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who came up with the design in 2005, while working on a University thesis project. The concept received two prizes, which has enabled them to turn their dream into a company that employs twelve people
Unlike traditional helmets that stay static over the riders' face, the Hovding sits stylishly around the neck like a bulky scarf, which comes in many colors. Tucked inside, is an airbag and enough helium to inflate it when needed. Also fitted inside is a sensor unit, complete with a gyroscope and accelerometer, which constantly monitor the movements of the rider. If any danger is detected, the airbag deploys in an instant 0.1 seconds, protecting the rider from serious head injuries. The helmet which can be charged through a USB, can also be switched off not needed, by simply zipping the collar around the user's neck.
While the helmet sounds quite cool in theory, deploying an airbag in the car is very different from deploying one on a cyclist. That's because the drivers can not only fall in many different directions, but also, do things that may not be dangerous but could result in a false warning, triggering the helmet to inflate. To ensure this does not happen, the two young inventors have carried out extensive tests on not only dummies, but also, stunt men and women.
Ready to buy one? You'll have to wait a little, since the Hovdings helmets will not hit the stores until next spring. However, this is probably good since it will give you enough time to save up for its hefty price tag of $470USD!
Sources: wired.com, guardian.co.uk