When all of us here at TRANSLOGIC were still youngsters, riding our bikes, dreaming of the day when electric cars would make a comeback, we, just like most kids, hated wearing our helmets. We knew the safety benefits, but helmets were uncomfortable, you always pinched your chin with the strap, and, most of all, a helmet made you look totally lame.
Thanks to two Swedish designers, Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt and their creation, the Hövding device
, soon those unstylish helmets may be a thing of the past.
Nicknamed the "invisible bike helmet," the Hövding is worn around the cyclist's neck, much like a scarf. If an unusual shift in gravity or sudden impact occurs, the collar quickly inflates to form a protective layer around the wearer's head, much like an airbag.
The idea for the Hövding device came about in 2005 when Alstin and Haupt were studying design at the University of Lund in Sweden. Since then, they have raised over 10 million dollars and have expanded their team to 17 people.
Like any safety device, the Hövding has been extensively tested. "We had to simulate all known accidents," Alstin told NBC News
. "Everything from an icy road crash to getting hit by a car."
Unlike an airbag, which quickly deflates, this collar stays inflated, and not only covers the head, but the neck as well, offering more protection than an ordinary bike helmet.
One thing the conventional bike helmet has the Hövding beat at is price. Right now the collar retails for around 400 Euros, or $536.
[Source: NBC News