Daily cycling commuters and said wannabes, take notice. Cycling on the roads will never be the same again.
For the longest time, putting on a helmet before a ride under the warm morning sun has put off many people. For some, it’s the oven effect that makes your head uncomfortable under the hot sun. For others, it’s either the “helmet hair” or the turtle shell look that made them set aside their bikes to collect dust.
Now, thanks to two lovely Swedish entrepreneurs and their Hövding (invisible) helmet, urban cycling is sexier than ever. Oh, and you finally get to ride with full wind in your hair glory while protecting your head.
Hövding is the result of 8 years of hard work by Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, both based in Malmö, Sweden. The helmet is made from the ground up with a revolutionary design, completely disrupting (possibly displacing) the existing bike helmets available.
How it works
In their own words, the helmet is an “Airbag for Cyclists”. Using accelerometers and smart algorithms, the helmet, which is strapped around your neck and wears like a scarf, is deployed within split seconds into a gigantic bouncy castle wrapped around your head. In short, accident is detected by sensor and algorithm, expansion of gas inflates “helmet”, and bouncy castle protects brain.
Watch the live tests and see for yourself:
Priced at €399 a piece, and €59 for a replacement “shell” (the skin of the helmet that differentiates the fashionable from the dorky), it is an expensive bike helmet; though this price tag could be reduced with greater adoption of the design.
The helmets are sold through their website and are currently shipped only to countries in the EU.
Since its launch in 2011, the helmet has won huge design awards like the Index:Award and D&AD Award. Only time will tell if the design will become a standard, but I have high hopes.