Like an airbag in your car, this helium bike helmet is a hidden device that cyclists wear around their neck, which inflates just before a crash.
As CEO Fredrik Carling explains more about in the above video, the Hövding by Hövding is the world’s first airbag helmet for cyclists. It’s worn around the neck like a collar so that the rider’s head is totally in the open as if he or she were not wearing a helmet at all.
Using a complex system of sophisticated sensors that can detect an impact or fall, the collar quickly inflates itself with helium, released through a built-in high-speed cold gas inflator.
Once deployed, the helium bike helmet provides a soft cushion around the top, back, and sides of the rider’s head while still keeping the line of vision unobstructed.
If all that weren’t amazing enough, just like an airplane, it has its own “black box” that can record the data from an accident.
If you want to see the helium bike helmet in action, the Hövding website has a great section of videos under the theme, “Will it pop?” in which the airbag helmet is put through various test situations to see if it will inflate at the appropriate time.
Here is one of those videos, which not only demonstrates the durability of the helium bike helmet, but also shows how instantaneously the safety device inflates:
As for the drawbacks, apparently the biggest complaint with the helium helmet is not it’s functionality — it’s actually “nearly perfect” according to the researchers at Stanford that studied it — 8 times more effective than a traditional bike helmet.
No no, the main concern of riders is… hat hair. Seriously. You may have been in a major crash on the way to work, but the important thing to ask is, “Does my hair look good?” (Zephyr sarcasm).
So, the company has even taken to solve that according to a recent story on Evening Standard. Carling claims the newest version of the helium bike helmet now protects “helmet hair” and as a result, sales have increased.
Sources: Hövding, YouTube