Two inventors in Sweden have made quite a splash in both the world of biking and entrepreneurship by developing a product that many people believed was nearly impossible: an invisible bike helmet. Recently, inventors Anna Haupt and Terese Alsti impressed and surprised many when they unveiled their invention, which is called the Hovding Helmet. The inventing duo have spoken out about what inspired them to develop their ground breaking product and why they believe the Hovding Helmet is so important to the future of traveling, commuting and style.
How the Invisible Helmet Came About
Both Anna Haupt and Terese Alsti consider themselves avid bikers and believe that cycling is the mode of transportation of the future, and that cars are a thing of the past. As avid bikers, they often found the sensation of wearing a helmet somewhat cumbersome, comparing it to having a mushroom on their head. They did not like the fact that wearing a helmet prevented them from feeling the wind in their hair while they rode, but they also recognized the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike, especially in urban areas where cyclists often share the road with motor vehicles.
The duo spent seven years consulting with experts in a number of fields. They spoke with head trauma specialists, who helped them to understand the physics behind head injuries. They also used models to simulate some of the most common accidents and studied what exactly happens when a cyclist is involved in a high impact accident. After speaking with experts and reviewing their data, the two came up with a design for a helmet that is as stylish as it is safe: a helmet that provides full protection of the head while simultaneously allowing for the rider to enjoy the open air.
How It Works
The Hovding Helmet allows riders to experience the feeling of riding without helmet because it is worn as a scarf of sorts that is strapped around a rider’s neck. The scarf is activated when it is snapped together. It remains in its scarf shape until the event that a rider is involved in an accident of some kind. At that point, the helmet, which is in effect constructed out of what are essentially airbags that surround the head, deploys and covers and protects the rider’s head instantly.
Alsti and Haupt have tested the helmet in a number of varying accident scenarios and have found it to be an effective means of warding off injury in the event that a serious accident should arise.
Is It Available In the United States?
The Hovding Helmet is not currently available in United States stores, but it can be purchased online at the company’s website. Currently, the price point of the helmet is significantly higher than that of regular helmets: an invisible helmet costs and average of two hundred ninety nine euros, or roughly five hundred dollars, in comparison to traditional helmets, which can be purchased for somewhere between forty and eighty dollars. Some critics site the high price point of the invisible air bag helmets as being a reason that they are not a practical option for widespread use.
Others question the safety of the airbag helmets versus traditional helmets, though both the inventors and a number of physicists argue that the mechanics behind them are sound. The airbag helmets certainly do offer a number of benefits both in terms of aesthetics and the overall experience of riding, and perhaps as they grow in popularity in Europe, they will become more widely available and more affordable in the United States and other counties.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons