(Nanowerk News) Hate traveling with a bulky, plastic bike helmet? Say hello to the Hövding Bike Helmet, an ingenious invention out of Sweden that takes up only a sliver of space in your luggage and activates only upon impact, much like a car's airbag.
Hövding Bike Helmet
Hövding is a bicycle helmet unlike any other currently on the market. It's ergonomic, it's practical, it complies with all the safety requirements, and it's also subtle and blends in with what else you are wearing.
Hövding is a collar for bicyclists, worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that you'll only see if you happen to have an accident. The airbag is shaped like a hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist's head. The trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.
The actual collar is the visible part of the invention. It's covered by a removable shell that you can change to match your outfit, and we'll be launching new designs all the time. Hövding is a practical accessory that's easy to carry around, it's got a great-looking yet subtle design, and it will save your life.
The airbag is shaped like a hood that surrounds your head. It's made in an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won't rip when scraped against asphalt. The way the hood is designed and folded into the collar ensures that it will inflate quickly and safely. It takes about 0.1 seconds to inflate and the airbag will be fully inflated before head impact. Hövding protects nearly all of the head while leaving the field of vision open. The airbag provides soft and effective shock absorption and maintains constant pressure for several seconds, making it able to withstand several impacts to the head in the same accident. After that the airbag slowly starts to deflate.
The gas inflator that inflates the airbag is placed in a holder in the collar on the bicyclist's back. Hövding's gas inflator is a cold gas inflator that uses helium and it's one of the smallest gas inflators on the market. A similar inflator is used in a motorcycle helmet with airbag system.
The airbag is deployed by sensors – accelerometers and gyros – that pick up a bicyclist's abnormal movements in the event of an accident. The sensors then send a signal to the gas inflator to inflate the airbag.