Swedes develop invisible bike helmet
You know what kind of sucks about riding a bike? Other than all that pedaling? Bike helmets. Sure, they keep that overrated "brain" from getting splattered, but they take a lot of the open-air-joy out of things, and they're not comfortable. A pair of Swedish women have developed a remarkable solution: the invisible bike helmet.
Tired of strapping ugly, uncomfortable styrofoam-and-plastic turtle shells to their heads, the pair came up with a pretty revolutionary solution that does manage to give you full head protection without, remarkably, wearing anything on your head.
I'd like to just come out and tell you the secret of how their Hövding helmet works, but this video does such a nice job of building suspense I kind of don't want to ruin it. So I won't post any pictures showing the operation, and don't follow that link to their site if you don't want to spoil a minor surprise.
Once you see how it works it all makes sense, and is a very clever solution that draws from a number of technologies that are well-established and familiar.
If you're so jaded that the tiny joy of a mild surprise doesn't appeal to you, click away.
Granted, the Hövding helmet creators indulge in a bit of hyperbole when describing how it'll "save the world"; according to the IIHS, two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists in the United States. 72% of those fatalities are adults over the age of 20, and no state has a mandatory helmet law for adults (although some cities have local ordinances requiring them for all riders).
But regardless of how wrong they are about discounting cars in the future, they've done a pretty impressive job with the design and engineering of this, and I wish them all sorts of luck.
So far the helmet is available only in Europe--sold on the official site for €399 ($535)--and would need to meet U.S. CPSC requirements to be sold as a helmet stateside.
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