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Safety From Sweden: An Inflatable Bike Helmet #WearableWednesday

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Check out this interesting new helmet design from Swedish company Hövding. Would you wear an airbag helmet? Via Wall Street Journal.

The bicycle helmet—often a sturdy piece of Styrofoam in plastic casing—is getting a makeover from Hövding. The Swedish company has invented an air bag collar for adults aware of the dangers of cycling but reluctant to wear helmets that are uncool and ungainly.

This style of safety comes at a hefty price. At a retail price of €400 ($546), the scarf costs more than many bikes. This is because of expensive parts and fabrics and the costly development effort, company executives said. Their ambition is to lower prices as volume increases.

The company expanded from Scandinavia to several European countries last year and soon plans to introduce the product in Japan. The U.S. market is also on the horizon once the company submits it for certification there.

The Hövding’s sensors are powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries, the same kind found in a cellphone. So users also need to worry about charging the scarf. (A single charge lasts 18 hours of use, and riders will be alerted an hour before the battery dies.)

Two sensors—a gyroscope that tracks angular shifts and an accelerometer that notes sudden changes in the cyclist’s speed—detect movements indicating that a crash is imminent.

If an accident is detected, the device inflates with helium in a fraction of a second.

Read more.


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