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Bike Science: Swedish Hovding airbag helmet [crash video]

4 Comments 07 November 2010

We already mentioned the new Swedish cycling safety invention: the Hövding airbag bike helmet and posted that to our Facebook page (No, it’s not from Ikea, the name means “Chieftain”). There was a video in that link too, but we feel that we should store this in the safety of our blog as well since it’s been a discussion topic lately again.

Designed by two industrial design students from Sweden, Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt who started their search for convenience and style. They started from normal helmet designs but soon found themselves researching airbags as a solution. The end result is a collar that is fitted and attaches in place with Velco straps. Inside it has motion sensors (or accelometers) that measure the speed and angle of your neck and it does this 250 times per second.

Left: Black collar on Barbie, right: Deflated airbag helmet activated

When the sensors recognize a coming crash, they inflate the airbag in approximately 0.1 seconds, allowing you to escape your crash (hopefully) unscathed. The airbag itself is “bulletproof Nylon” that can tolerate being dragged on asphalt without ripping, which sounds like a really good idea for a helmet of this sort. It will also stay inflated for “several seconds” to allow you to face several crashes or hits during that time. So no, you can’t use it as a pillow on your transatlantic flight.

At the moment the price will be around 300 euros, but should they get it to mass production, the price should come down to just expensive. But that’s not an issue, since you can have it different patterns or color to suit your clothing and your style. While you’re at it, why not get two?

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Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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  • Something for the Frantic pikkujoulut? :)

  • Sven

    That will be a big hit in Finland me think! The land of helmets and reflectors!

    PS: Shouldn’t it be “It will also stay INFLATED for several seconds” instead of “DEFLATED”?

  • It should, thanks for noticing it!

  • Together with the helmet camera?


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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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