Cool innovation out of Sweden, as an alternative to regular bike helmets, there is now the Hovding.
An “invisible” nylon air bag helmet that is worn stylishly around the neck and inflates only when the it detects a pending accident.
The wearable device has a rechargeable accelerometer and gyroscope for sensing accidents, and it can inflate with helium in just a tenth of a second.
It also has a “black box” that records that last 10 seconds of the accident, so that investigators can analyze what happened.
The helmet shell for around the neck comes in a variety of styles and colors, and it costs between $450 and $600 dollars, but is not usable after a single inflatable event.
While many people don’t want to wear crash helmets because they are either unattractive or uncomfortable, this new inflatable helmet provides style and comfort, and most importantly head protection.
The developers see other potential uses for skiing, horseback riding, epileptics, and the elderly.
I wonder about future applications for even more extreme sports and activities like motocycle riding, sky diving, and even race-car driving–people could do the things they enjoy, more naturally, without the clunky helmet, but still have the protection they need.
Also, I believe that the inflatable helmet has potential to be expanded into a more complete body guard package–like an invisible protective shield ready and waiting to be deployed all around a person in case of an accident, attack, or other disaster scenario.
Like the idea of Bubble Boy, who lives in a sterilized dome to protect him because of a compromised immune system, people of all types may one day be able to have a protective bubble that keeps them out of harm’s way.
Technology, such as the smartphone, is moving from mobile to wearable, and high-tech helmets too have the potential for a big lift–stay tuned for yours. 😉
(Source Photo: herewith attribution to Geoffery Kehrig)