'Invisible' Bicycle Helmet
An 'invisible' bicycle helmet has been created by Swedish design firm Hövding.
(Invisible helmet - invisible)
When did the Hövding Invisible Bicycle Helmet officially launch and who is buying it?
November 2011 was the official release. So far, we have sold 600. It has been about 50/50 women to men and age has a very wide range—from 15 to about 65. There are varying reasons for their purchase but one thing we see in common is that people who buy the invisible helmet hate the ordinary bicycle helmet. Traditional bicycle helmets are bulky, hard to carry and store, and they mess up your hair. Some cyclists are primarily interested in the safety aspect while others are attracted to the technology behind it, and of course that is fashionable.
Have you heard back from any cyclists about accidents while wearing the invisible helmet?
There have been four or five accidents reported. Those cyclists sent back their helmet so we could collect data from the built-in black box. It records about 10 seconds of information on things like acceleration, angle of movements, the change in both acceleration and the cyclists positions right before and during the accident. This is extremely helpful for our research.
What is the projected life span of the invisible helmet?
The expiration date mainly refers to the airbag's life span, which is the same as a car's—10 years. The fabric around the airbag will break down a little faster, though. We assume people will want to replace their invisible helmet every three to four years, the same as you would do with ski gear and most other sporting equipment. In Sweden, we actually have insurance that covers the cost of buying a new helmet after a biker has been involved in an accident.
(The invisible helmet - now visible)
Fans of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash may recall the airbag jacket, which would work perfectly with the invisible helmet.
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