Gallery: VIDEO: World’s First &#...

It’s been seven years in the making, but the world’s first “invisible” bike helmet is now available for purchase. The brainchild of Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, two industrial designers from Sweden, the Hövding—Swedish for “chieftain”—is essentially a collar that deploys an airbag-like hood in case of an impact. Unlike regular hard-hat helmets, which the duo deride as “bulky, like a hard mushroom on your head,” the Hövding is designed to be unobtrusive. But the device is more than an expression of vanity. “An invisible bicycle helmet is a symbol of the ‘impossible,’” Haupt and Alstin say in the video. “If people say it’s impossible, we have to prove them wrong.”

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NOW YOU SEE IT

Tucked within a removable shell in your choice of color and print, the collar springs into action when built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers detect motions typically associated with bike accidents. When the sensors are triggered, the nylon bag fills up with helium, taking only a tenth of a second to fully inflate, according to the duo.

When the sensors are triggered, the nylon bag fills up with helium in a tenth of a second.

The Hövding also includes a “black box” that saves 10-seconds-worth of data about the cyclist’s movements before and during a crash. (Haupt and Alstin ask that you send them the box after accidents, so they can continue to hone and improve the helmet.) Just one catch: current models retail at SEK 3998, or $600 in U.S. dollars. For safety reasons, the airbag is good for only one use, but returning a deployed or expired Hövding for recycling earns you a discount for a new one.

PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: Inflatable Airbag “Collar” Protects Helmet-Free Cyclists From Broken Skulls

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+ Hövding

6 Responses to “VIDEO: World’s First “Invisible” Bike Helmet Goes on Sale”

  1. cinderellen (@cinderellen) says:

    It’s a fascinating idea. On a couple of occasions my helmet has saved me from serious injury, but more often I have just tipped over and skinned up my knees and elbows. A serious crash where your helmet is dented makes the helmet unusable, but if the helmet is not damaged it gets to go with you another day. I am interested to know what kind of events will cause the helmet to deploy, and if the whole unit is a disposable item.

  2. _eddiem says:

    What about protection to the face? I see that a small area of the helmet extends over the forehead but the majority of the face seems unprotected.

  3. Dabreax says:

    There are many conventional helmets that do not protect the face as well. I dont see this as a need, but it could be an added feature in future builds. For someone who HATES wearing helmets I would definately give this a try. This sounds like a wonderful idea!

  4. LezH says:

    This invention was brought to our attention at the last meeting of Birmingham Inventors by one of our members. I think this is a super example of innovation. Congratulations to the young women that created it. If you live in the UK in the Midlands area and have any similar bright ideas why not join Birmingham Inventors and talk over your ideas and get some moral support on your journey to bringing your product to the market? -Les

  5. johhnyb says:

    What’s the fail safe on this and the cost, that’s probably both the devastating news on this. Still seems easier/safer to wear a helmet that you know won’t fail.

  6. acwp33 says:

    I LOVE the idea!! But my questions are… what is the battery fails and then you are in an accident. What if there is a software/hardware glitch? A snag in the release mechanism? WHat about funky hairstyles, barrettes and random things ( earrings, etc) that could puncture the inflatable helmet? I assume they have thought of ALL of these things! But I would love to see a video explaining those things. And this is a great idea :)

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