Did you know that only one in every ten cyclists wears a helmet? It was this statistic the inspired Swedish designers Anna Heupt and Terese Alstin to create the world's first 'invisible' bike helmet, which is made available for worldwide sale today.
After seven years of research and over €13m in funding, the result of the graduates efforts can be seen. The Hövding collar – Swedish for chieftain – sits around the neck like scarf and inflates like an airbag on the occasion of impact. It is also contains a little 'black box' that saves ten seconds worth of data about the cyclists movements before and during a crash.
'People told us traditional helmets are too bulky, too heavy, or ruin your style and hairdo.' The latter became the focal point of the design, 'that's what got us into thinking about airbag technology, because it's hidden most of time until you need it and then it pops out' said Alstin. 'There are already avalanche backpacks for skiers and horse riders, so it made sense that cyclists had the same protection.'
'An invisible bicycle helmet is a symbol of the 'impossible,' Haupt and Alstin say in the video. 'If people say it's impossible, we have to prove them wrong.'