Riding a helmet, while annoying, is necessary. Still, having to carry one around can be cumbersome, and at times, not-so-stylish. But now, a Swedish company promises to solve that problem with what's basically an invisible bike helmet. Yes, that's right: we may now get to avoid both bad hair-induced grumpiness and death by brain injury. Meet: the Hövding helmet.
Well, actually, the Hövding helmet isn't actually a helmet at all — at least in the traditional sense. Rather than being a hat made of foam and plastic, it appears as a collar that zips up along the wearer's throat. The collars are available in different colors and designs, so if you're really particular, you can coordinate it with your outfit. But that's not even the cool part.
When the Hövding is switched on, sensors start monitoring the wearer's velocity and angle. Any change that indicates an "abnormal movement pattern" activates the collars contents: an airbag that envelops the head in the shape of a motorcycle helmet. According to the company website, the inflatable safety can deploy in only a tenth of a second, which means the wearer's head — bare just moments before — is protected before impact.
Still skeptical? The Hövding fulfills all European qualifications for safe bike helmets. And in tests, it proved to have shock absorption three times better than that of any of the other thirteen helmets.
Check out this video to see it in action:
Now excuse me while I take a quick trip to Sweden. And learn how to ride a bike.