Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald brought us news of the “invisible” bike helmet. Well, it’s not really invisible — it just isn’t worn where you normally think a helmet would be worn! You may struggle to find it in the photo, because it is cleverly disguised as fashionable neckwear.
The project started out as the Master’s thesis for Swedish industrial design students, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin at the University of Lund in 2005. Responding to the introduction of mandatory helmet laws for children, they anticipated demand from adult clientele who might want options if facing the same regulation.
“We saw this law as a threat to adult bicyclists, because many people in Sweden and in the rest of the world are really bad at using conventional helmets because they don’t think they are good enough,” Haupt explained. Research around the topic revealed (not surprisingly) that vanity is one of the primary reasons that adults fail to wear helmets, and so the two designers set out to “change the product” rather than expect people to change.
After eight years of work, the Hövding is now available in Europe and Japan, with plans for distribution in the US and Australia, pending certification. The ingenious design utilizes airbag technology, promising even greater safety than a conventional helmet. The collar will inflate within one-tenth of a second if the in-built sensor detects that the wearer has been struck or is falling off their bike.
Considered an “investment” piece, expect to pay $399 Euro ($600 AUD) for your invisible helmet –some would say a small price to pay for the ultimate in bike safety and fashionable good looks!