Can this invisible bike helmet change the face of cycling?
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An invisble bike helmet sounds as if it’s from a futuristic story - however, that didn’t stop Swedish entrepreneurs Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt. The Hövding helmet began as a thesis for their masters in Industrial Design in 2005 and has gone on to arguably become the future of cycling safety. The revolutionary design subtly looks as if it is just like part of your everyday outfit (almost like a thiuch scarf) and can be altered to suit your style with interchangeable ‘shells’. However, the smart technology can detect the difference between normal cycling and an accident, with sensors monitoring angles and velocity – without setting off when you bend down to pick up your keys. It deploys the airbag which inflates around the head in 0.1 seconds, protecting the cyclist before impact is made. It is made of strong nylon and filled with helium, meaning the airbag stays inflated for several seconds and protects your head from multiple bumps after the initial crash. After several years of research, the finished product provides up to three times the shock absorption of conventional helmets, according to a study by the Swedish insurance company Folksam. "We have always known that Hövding has incredibly effective shock absorption capacity. The helium gas protects like a thick air mattress around the head, so the blow is very soft and mild. It feels incredibly good that this has now been confirmed by a major insurance company," says Haupt, one of the founders of the Hövding company. The company officially launched in 2006 and is available to ship to the UK. Currently, over 3,000 helmets are worn by cyclists worldwide - it has made an impact to the safety conscious. Whilst it is a huge stretch for the average student budget at the moment - helmets are €399/ around £333 - you can watch the video here:
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