The idea of Hovding is not new. But the fact that it is finally commercially available is. This amazing airbag helmet for cyclists costs about $600 and it represents a completely new and somewhat stylish way to protect yourself.
Bicycles are becoming more and more popular due to their cheap and eco friendly nature, but constant moving on two wheels is not the safest transport option available. Add to it the fact that there is hardly any place for additional protection that cars offer and bicycle safety becomes a real issue.
A helmet has long been the best protection option available, though not particularly beautiful. Back in 2005 this aesthetics downside prompted two students at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University in Sweden, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin – they reportedly said that they wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet – to create a new kind of protection for cyclists and the Hovding was conceived.
It is an airbag that is placed inside a stylish enough collar that can be used as a scarf. As any other airbag product, Hovding’s operation is dependent on numerous sensors whose job is to recognize the unwanted movement such as falling and activate the airbag in the collar. The sensors include a chain of gyrometers and accelerometers whose collaboration is supposed to distinguish between regular movement and accidents. Having in mind that cyclists willfully perform some moves that a sensor might see as an accident – bending over to tie your shoe laces, for example, or bending sideways in curves – the task wasn’t easy but the results are very satisfactory and test have showed that the Hovding provides far more protection than helmets. The airbag needs just 0.1 seconds to inflate.
The sensors and inflation mechanism are powered using an on-board battery that can be recharged using a simple micro USB port. Hovding is said to work perfectly well with almost all haircuts and head-worn accessories, but heavy dreadlocks are not one of them. Another downside is that it cannot be re-inflated, so a single accident uses up the product and you will need to buy another one. Still, having your life saved once is more than enough to make you want to open your wallet again. watch videos below
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