Hövding is an industrial design master thesis turned fully-functional and recyclable, invisible bike helmet.
Urban biking is growing at a rapid pace and I tend to agree with the designers at Hövding that "cars are so yesterday, bikes are the future". To keep us safe, inspiring designers continue to develop seemingly simple solutions with hi-tech components. In 2005, industrial design students Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin began a project in response to a new law requiring all children up to age 15 to wear bicycle helmets. The new law instigated a debate around whether adults should also be required to wear helmets. Haupt and Alstin saw an opportunity to create a new helmet for adults that broke the mold, providing bikers with an option that is both comfortable and safe, but also fashionable.
Unlike conventional bike helmets, Hövding is a collar worn around the neck. An airbag embedded in the collar deploys on impact via specially designed sensors. Creating a hood-like shape around the biker's head, Hövding protects the rider only when an accident occurs. Hövding is fully certified within the European Union’s Personal Protective Equipment Directive. Once Hövding has been deployed it is no longer usable and should be replaced.
As part of their product service, Hövding requests that users send in their deployed helmets. Because Hövding uses electronic components and batteries, they want to ensure the device is properly recycled. Also, each unit contains a “black box” which records data from the accident. This data is collected and used for further product development work.
After seven years of in-depth user research, from surveying people on the streets to working with airbag experts, Hövding is currently on the market and available for purchase. Unfortunately for us bikers in the U.S., Hövding is currently only available in Europe. And although not quite in the affordable zone for the average biker, it's an inspiring concept for designers and cyclists alike.
Learn more about the technology behind Hövding and where to purchase at the Hövding website.
Image source: Hövding