December 15, 2013
In 2010, a team of two Swedish researchers announced a new ”invisible bicycle” helmet project that featured an inflatable helmet. The helmet is designed to inflate upon impact as soon as the person is involved in an accident, wrapping and protecting the head in an inflated plastic casing, working just like a helmet to protect him from head injuries.
The helmets have been made available in Europe, and are currently being retailed for €399 apiece. The helmet called the Hovding, and resembles a scarf that the person wears around his neck. This is less of a helmet, and more of an airbag that is designed to protect the head. According to the inventors, the invisible helmet has up to 3 to 4 times more shock absorption capacity, compared to a traditional helmet.
Apart from the unique design, which ensures that people don’t really have to wear a helmet at all, there are other advantages that the researchers believe have been responsible for its success and popularity. For instance, many bicyclists are apprehensive about wearing helmets because these look clunky, and mess up your hairstyle. The style concerns are especially acute among female bicyclists, who are less likely to wear helmets compared to males.
Those problems are solved with a bicycle helmet that does not really have to be worn on the head every time you bike. The bicycle helmet only becomes a helmet at the time of impact, just like an airbag inflates to protect the body from injuries.
Japanese bicyclists will soon be able to purchase the invisible helmets as these will soon launch in that country, and California bicycle safety lawyers hope that the helmets will reach these shores soon. There’s likely to be tremendous demand for these helmets here, because this is a country where helmet use is lagging behind usage rates in European countries because of the style, wearability and convenience factors.