Two design students spent seven years crafting a new cycling safety device that's been dubbed the invisible bike helmet. They raised $10 million and spent years studying crash data in order to make their dream a reality. I won't ruin the surprise. Watch the video above to see the result of their innovation and hard work, then read on for more details and pictures.
The Hövding. Photo: Hövding
Hövding is a collar with an airbag stuffed inside that wraps around a bicyclist's neck. It deploys when sensors detect abnormal movements while a person is biking. It contains an on/off switch and has a black box that records 10 seconds of data before and during any accident.
Deployed. Photo: Hövding
The contraption was designed as a fashionable alternative for those who would not choose to wear a hard helmet in the city, either because of looks and/or feel. Of course, anyone turned off by wearing something thick around their neck while biking would not choose this as an option. Nor, obviously, would someone looking to bomb downhill on singletrack. A commuter without hipster friends to impress might also choose not to buy the Hövding. But the main reason someone would shun the new product to go with a regular helmet? Probably price. The unit costs 3,998 SEK, or around $600.
On the ride to work. Photo: Hövding