Some will tell you that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle isn’t cool. It’s like turning your head into a giant mushroom, they’ll say. And it’s true. It’s also true that wearing your brain on your outside is bad: this kills the human. What if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? Well, two Swedish ladies have spent the last 7 years, and gone through several million dollars in funding developing Hövding, an invisible helmet. Ok, invisible is a bit of a stretch. What it really is, is an airbag that you wear in a collar around your neck. Carefully calibrated sensors detect when you’re in the middle of a crash, and in under 0.1 seconds a canister of Helium pierces and inflates a strong nylon hood that completely wraps around your noggin. This should keep the brains on the inside. What’s best is that when this happens, sensor data is stored in the device’s memory for the 10 seconds before and after impact, providing you with a “ride data recorder” of sorts. This could help authorities figure out what happened in case the helmet isn’t enough to keep you alive.
Sounds wonderful, but of course there are drawbacks. The same fold who think regular helmets are uncomfortable will likely balk at a thick collar around their necks. And then, there’s cost: $600 or so for this admittedly cool tech is a lot of dollars to spend when you can just buy a regular helmet for $30. Still, early adopters with lots of disposable income could dig it.
Hit the jump for a video and links.