So apart from the latest bikes hitting the market, we at RiderZone also keep an eye out on other bike related news. Today, we take a look at Hovding, a brand new almost conceptual helmet for bicycles, and why the biking community should keep an eye out for it.
Hovding, is a helmet invented by Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin in Malmö, Sweden in 2005. The invention was launched on the market in 2011. You must have seen the ads of an invisible helmet doing the rounds on the internet these days. You haven’t, well don’t worry, we got you covered.
Essentially, Hovding is the airbag version of an helmet. You wear it like a collar around your neck, and the thing basically fills up with air on impact covering your head. The collision detection technique works similar to an airbag.The Hövding contains accelerometers that detect unusual movements and deploy the airbag if the movement patterns match the profile of a crash. There is also a manual chain to deflate and inflate it. Scientifically, the Hovding has more shock absorbing capabilities than a standard racing helmet. However, there is one catch (apart from the fact that it is only available in Sweden), right now its only available for Bicycles.
For a biker, a helmet does a lot more than just save people head from becoming graffiti on the roads. It protects them from dust particles and other projectiles at high speeds. Not to mention, it provides a degree of temperature insulation when driving in too cold or too warm environments.
So why are we even interested in a Hovding.
Simply because it opens more avenues of possibilities. If not a airbag helmet, then how about similar padding for other parts of your body, which would have been uncomfortable or in-plausible to cover with rigid protection. Imagine (and don’t try) crashing at high speeds when you are in your Bermuda, and then imagine very small knee-pads inflating into foamy cushions around your legs to protect you. You could wear this very light, very subtle protective gear every time you go out, instead of your rare biking days, when all the cool stuff comes out.
There is also a possibility, that it may be used as a lighter alternative to the inner foams of current helmets. Just think about it, it will make the helmets lighter, and you could just replace the inner padding after a crash never having to actually buy a new helmet.
Another feature of the Hovding is that each helmet comes equipped with a black box that helps the team capture data. This will allow unprecedented capture of crash related data. In fact this technology could and should precede the Hovding into today’s helmet much earlier.
This is not an Isaac Asimov novel. The technology is here and ready. Perhaps the biggest block is its cost-effectiveness. The airbag tech maybe a little on the expensive side for now, but that can be remedied with time, as airbags become standards.
Another question we have to ask is, are we as bikers ready for such changes. Helmet isn’t really the part of a biking experience that has been revolutionized often. Will most bikers reject better protection just because they feel more cozy with older gear. Or will the biking community, look forward to lighter gear and better protection. What do you think, sound off in the comments.