Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Pat
The Invisible Bike Helmet
If you even have a glimmer of interest in bicycling — especially the rapidly growing urban cycling sect — you have to know about a Kickstarter campaign that just ended this month.
The Hövding Helmet — known more popularly as “the invisible helmet” — is worn like a collar or scarf around your neck, which contains an airbag that will inflate and protect the head in the event of an accident.
Hövding started out in 2005 as a master’s thesis by the two founders Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who, at the time, were studying Industrial Design at the University of Lund.
The idea of developing a new type of cycle helmet was a response to the introduction of a law on mandatory helmet use for children up to the age of 15 in Sweden. This triggered a debate on whether cycle helmets should be mandatory for adults, too. Haupt and Alstin saw their master’s thesis as an opportunity to find out whether it would be possible to develop a cycle helmet that people would be happy to wear – whether they had to or not.
Their years of work has resulted in an award-winning product. In 2012, Folksam, a Swedish insurance company, tested the product along with 12 other helmets on the market. The test showed that Hövding provides more than three times better shock absorption than any other helmet.
How does it work?
Hövding contains sensors that are constantly monitoring the cyclist’s movements when it is switched on. The sensors detect any changes in velocity or angle of the cyclist and can distinguish between normal cycling and accidents.
In an accident, Hövding detects the abnormal movement pattern and triggers the airbag. The inflation takes a tenth of a second (0.1 seconds) and the airbag is fully inflated before head impact.
Whether or not you spring for a Hövding, we at Trekalong encourage everyone to always ride safely!
Looking for some more guidance on bicycling best practices? Check out these two-wheeled titles from our friends at Wilderness Press!