Industrialized Cyclist Notepad

The invisible bike helmet

… Designed to inflate like an airbag in the event of a collision.

By Hovding.

Here’s how it works: Sensors in the collar detect unusual movements by the wearer. Upon impact, the sensors trigger a gas inflator that pumps air into an airbag that’s folded into the collar, which fully inflates around the head it in 0.1 seconds. Hövding, which is available in Europe for SEK3,998 (about $595), weighs about 1 1/2 lbs. and uses a rechargeable battery. It must be turned on. About one hour before the battery runs out, it makes a “battery low” sound.


I see a little problem with this. “Unusual head movements…” There is a fair bit of head movement in normal non-crashy cycling, so the Device would have to be calibrated to ignore all that. In the event of a solo wreck during which the front wheel is suddenly removed from beneath the rider (a relatively common path to head injury for bicyclists), for example, when a rider totally wipes out on black ice or a wet streetcar rail, the first sign of “unusual head movement” that would be detected by the Device could very well be that of the head impacting the pavement structure. In other words, too late. And so the rider is injured twice, first by slapping the skull onto the pavement structure, and second by paying six-hundred bucks for an invisible helmet that inflates only after the collision has occurred, thus launching the injured rider’s head off the ground rudely with further negative consequences to his or her neck and overall temperment. However, it may do quite well at detecting sudden accelerations involved with collision with a motor vehicle or fixed object.


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