Would you trust an 'Invisible Bike Helmet'?
The risks for not wearing a helmet while cycling are high -- depending on your age, location and skill level, a naked noggin could land you anything from a hefty fine to an early grave.
Yet despite the known dangers of riding without a helmet, many people aren't willing to sacrifice a good hair day to wear cumbersome piece of plastic on their heads.
Enter the Hövding, an "invisible bicycle helmet" created by two style-conscious young industrial designers in Lund, Sweden.
The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.
Functioning more like an airbag than a traditional helmet, the Hövding is worn around the neck like a collar.
According to the product's website, sensors inside the collar pick up the abnormal movement of a bicyclist in an accident and trigger the release of a hood-shaped, helium-filled airbag, which surrounds and protects the head.
It may look a bit silly, but the Hövding has pulled in no less than 10 design awards since 2005 and boasted some of the highest safety ratings when tested recently by Swedish insurance company Folksam.
It has also been Conformité Européenne (CE) certified by the EU's Personal Protective Equipment Directive, meaning it provides just as much protection as any other standard CE helmet during a bike crash.
Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin came up with the concept of an invisible helmet while working together on a joint masters theses in industrial design at Lund University in 2005.
"When it comes down to it, people do really want to protect their heads in road accidents, but there are limits. It isn't the bicyclists who need to change, it's the product," reads a message from the founders on Hövding's website. "The instant we heard the word "invisible", we realised that was what the world was waiting for. An invisible bicycle helmet. That wouldn't ruin your hair."
It took the pair seven years, ten million dollars in venture capital and countless hours of research to bring their product to market but the invisible helmet is now available online for 3,998 SEK (just under $600 CDN.)
Would you trust your head to an invisible bike helmet? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts below.
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