An inflatable bicycle helmet that that works like an airbag won the world's biggest design prize yesterday. Malmö, Sweden-based company Hövding took top honors in the INDEX: Awards' Play category. The helmet is contained in a soft fabric collar that zips around the neck and releases if an embedded set of gyros and accelerometers detects that rider has had an accident. It uses a tiny gas inflator to rapidly deploy an airbag that encases the rider's head, protecting the rider from injury. "We see this as a first step in fueling a paradigm change in the area of bike safety," INDEX's jury said. "It hinges on the professional competency of the designers, not the adaptive capability of the users." The Hövding will go on sale in Sweden this fall for 2,998 kronor, or $468.
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