Swedish Design Duo Invented an ‘Invisible Helmet’ For Cyclists
Two Swedish students designed an amazing ‘Invisible helmet’ for cyclists that remains completely hidden away when it is not needed – only appearing in the event of an accident. Hövding helmet, as they are called, is stored inside a durable collar that is worn by the cyclist at all times. Any slight abnormal motion triggers the mechanism which inflates a hood-shaped helmet in a split second (0.1 second, to be precise) thrusting it up out of the collar and over the wearer’s head.
By the time the cyclist hits impact, their head is entirely protected, surrounded by an airbag hood made up of asphalt-proof nylon hood. The airbag provides shock absorption and pressure for several seconds, meaning it can withstand several impacts to the head in the same accident before slowly deflating.
Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, the designers behind the ‘Hövding’ helmet, said they wanted to give a stylish angle to the safety gear industries. The project started in 2005 as a Master’s Thesis, when the two were studying Industrial Design, at the University of Lund. They set aside the traditional hard shell altogether to create a helmet that is not only invisible most of the time, but also a great fashion accessory which provides more protection than a standard helmet.
Some two hundreds of bicycle accidents were recreated to make sure exactly when the sensors should deploy the airbag. The airbag is deployed by sensors – accelerometers and gyros – that pick up on the cyclist’s abnormal movements in the event of an accident. The sensors then send a signal to the gas inflator to inflate the airbag.
Inflation happens really quick which is mastered with the help of a small cold gas inflator concealed in a collar on the cyclist’s back that uses helium to speed-inflate the device. Once the bags have been used, they can be sent back to the company for recycling, and customers will receive a discount on their next Hövding product.
The device was introduced in a fashion show in Stockholm last year, proving that the garment can be styled dozens of different ways. Faux fur, leather and spotty silk are just a few of the options available as covering for the collar. Currently, the helmet is available for delivery only within Europe.
They have also released a video which explains the concept better: