Thursday, December 2, 2010

Airbags for Bicycles?!



After several years of research and development a bicycle helmet unlike anything available on the market has been launched. It’s bicycle helmet called Hövding (chieftain) that does not even sit on your head. The founders and inventors Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin showed up world news at the Technical Fair in Stockholm.
"We wanted to develop a protection for cyclists that take account of the requests we got in our investigations. The protection would include preserving the sense of freedom and not ruin your hairstyle", says Terese Alstin which is one of the inventors.
Hövding is a discreet collar that the cyclist is wearing around his neck. The collar contains a folded airbag which is visible only at a collision. The airbag is designed as a hood that in case of an accident will enclose and protect the cyclist’s head. Release mechanism is controlled by sensors that register abnormal movements of the rider in an accident.
"The actual collar is the visible part of the invention. The shell of the collar is removable and available in many different styles and fabrics and will be launched in new collections. Hövding is a practical, handy accessory that is easy to carry, is stylish and unobtrusive in its design, while it saves your life", says Anna Haupt.
For six years, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin have been working with the development of Hövding which is based on advanced technology and research. Both are trained industrial designers and it was during their degree project that they got the idea that laid the foundation for the development of Hövding. Today, twelve people work full time with Hövding.

The helmets, which will be sold in Sweden, will be available for about 3000 Swedish Kronas, or about US$450, beginning in 2011. Sweden is a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), but I’m not familiar with the European standard. Some creative interpretation might be necessary if the makers want this to pass the US CPSC bike helmet standards testing.

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