what do you think?

I recently have seen a number of posts on the interwebs about the “invisible bike helmet”.  Let’s see what it is all about, shall we?  Make sure to watch the crash tests at the end of the video to understand how this works.

From the company’s website

Hövding is a collar for bicyclists, worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that you’ll only see if you happen to have an accident. The airbag is shaped like a hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist’s head. The trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.

The actual collar is the visible part of the invention. It’s covered by a removable shell that you can change to match your outfit, and we’ll be launching new designs all the time. Hövding is a practical accessory that’s easy to carry around, it’s got a great-looking yet subtle design, and it will save your life.

what the “helmet” looks like when wearing

what it looks like when deployed

You can read all about how it works here, but basically it works on the same principles as a car airbag and will deploy based on the cyclist’s movements during an accident.  The collar also includes a “black box” that records 10 seconds of data just prior to, and during, an accident that Hövding can use for future development and analysis in exchange for a discount on your next purchase.

It is a very neat idea but I am not sure if I would rather sport this around my neck during the hot summers in Canada over a traditional helmet.  And although I personally appreciate the idea of this becoming a fashion accessory to be matched to outfits, I am not sure if this will be a big selling point for many.

The company currently does not ship their product outside of the European Union and if you are lucky enough to be within the shipping zone the current price is approximately $600 CAD for the collar and one shell, with an additional shell costing about $70 CAD.  Of course potential future demand for this product would eventually drive down the cost.

I think that despite anyone’s personal preference for something like this versus a traditional helmet, I am very excited by the prospect of innovation in a field that has been fairly static for a long time.  Helmets may improve in design and style but at the end of the day, a helmet is a helmet is a helmet.  If nothing else, I must applaud Hövding for thinking outside the box.  Well done!

What do you think?  Would you wear one?

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