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You Hate Having Helmet Hair? A Swedish Company Found a Solution

The solution to avoid helmet hair and protect your head from a bicycle accident is to wrap a specially designed airbag around your neck!

A new “invisible” bicycle helmet that uses technology similar to a vehicle airbag has been developed in Sweden.

The Hövding device, worn around the neck, is designed to shoot a protective, inflatable nylon hood around the user's head within one tenth of a second of impact.

Designers Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt said they were tired of traditional hard plastic designs that were unfashionable and ruined their hair.

“I don’t want anything on my head,” said Alstin. “I don’t want my hair to be destroyed.”

"Vanity might sound a bit stupid to talk about," Alstin added, "but if that is the cause of people not protecting their heads in traffic, it is a real issue that you need to address."

The pair began to work on the device in 2005 when they were studying Industrial Design at Sweden’s University of Lund.

Over the next seven years the pair engineered, refined and tested the collar, which can monitor a cyclist's movements more than 200 times a second using an inbuilt computer, sensors and gyro.

If it senses a collision, a small gas canister held in the back of the collar inflates the protective cover within milliseconds.

“We had to simulate all known accidents,” Alstin said, adding that they had enlisted the help of professional cyclists to help them develop it. "Everything from an icy road crash to getting hit by a car."

Sweden has one of the highest percentages of people who use bikes as their primary mode of transportation, but only about 20 percent of adult Swedes wear helmets. Furthermore, bicyclists represented nearly 9 percent of all traffic fatalities in Sweden in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics were available. The comparable figure in the U.S. is 1.8 percent for that year.

In tests by a Swedish insurance company, Hovding was shown to be at least three times better at absorbing shock than conventional helmets (at 15 mph — this is a product aimed at urban cyclists). Hovding's weakest point may be that it can't protect riders from "direct hits" like overhanging branches and street signs, an issue that hasn't prevented the company from winning Europe's CE conformity label.

Another potential issue for this amazing technology to make mainstream product is it high price tag of $535.

You Hate Having Helmet Hair? A Swedish Company Found a Solution Reviewed by Blogs on 7:59 PM Rating: 5

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