The Invisible Bike Helmet
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
By John Dugan
The invisible bike helmet, Hövding, the brainchild of Swedish industrial designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, has been featured in the print edition of Design Bureau before—but this week we've noticed a massive uptick in interest in this innovative design recently on the blogs, so we're revisiting it. The company has grown to 16 employees, a good sign that the Hövding is catching on. It's obviously appealing to those that hate helmet hair, feel silly in a helmet and just don't like toting a helmet around. Personally, I like the idea of the Hövding for one reason: those velcro pads in my bike helmet just won't stay put. Frankly, I can't see why the Hövding won't take over the cycling world once it is approved for use outside the EU.
Here's a quick 411 on the Hövding.
Hövding means "chieftain" in Swedish.
It's an airbag shaped like a hood that surrounds your head. It takes about 0.1 seconds to inflate, so it will fully surround your head before impact. It protects your head without impairing your vision. And it can protect the head from several collisions over several seconds.
The small gas inflator uses helium.
The airbag is deployed by sensors—accelerometers and gyros—that pick up a cyclist's abnormal, extreme movements in an accident.
The waterproof functional collar encases the whole airbag system. Its weight rests on your back and shoulders.
The shell surrounds the collar and it is removable via zippers and washable, meaning you change it out to match your outfit. It is currently available in a colorful creator's cut and the black raven obscure designs.