Technology: The Hovding Invisible Helmet

What it does: The hovding Invisible Helmet is an injury preventive technology in development. It works like an airbag. The individual would wear the device around their neck and in the event of a fall, the device wraps their head in a protective shell before impact. It uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect a crash. It runs about $536.34 and is only good for one use. The device would then need to be sent back to the manufacturer for maintenance and then a discount is applied to the next "invisible helmet" bought.

The Airbag System
  • Designed like a hood and made in ultra-strong nylon fabric that won't tear when scraped against the ground.
  • Protects nearly all of the head, except for field of vision opening.
  • Inflated airbag covers a much larger area than a traditional cycle helmet.
  • Airbag provides extremely soft and gentle shock absorption.
  • Pressure remains constant for several seconds, making it able to withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident.
  • Several seconds after impact airbag slowly starts to deflate.
  • Cold gas inflator that uses helium.

How Hovding tells the difference between biking and accidents: Hovding has re-enacted thousand of cycling accidents using stunt riders and crash-test dummies to collect specific movement patterns of cyclist in accidents. They also collected an equal amount of data using test cyclist wearing Hovding in everyday cycling. Based on this collected data, they have developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling from accidents.

Fashion: The Hovding can now be found in 3 different colors and a slim fit
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The concerns:
  • Price: $536.34 is expensive for one use. Is the aesthetic appeal worth the cost?
  • Time: What if you need to ride your bike while your helmet is being repaired? You would need a spare.

The design incorporates these technologies:
  • Airbag
  • Gas Inflator: the smallest on the market
  • Sensors: Accelerometers and gyroscopes
  • Battery life indicator and USB port for charging the battery
  • the "Black Box": records the data of the crash which helps the manufacturer continue their research of crash data.

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How it works

ABC News story on Hovding



See it in action...