Over the year, cycling safety has been a cause for concern worldwide, to answer the concern, a Swedish company came out with a device called Hövding.
Unlike a regular helmet, Hovding works as an airbag for cyclists and is also popularly known as the “invisible cycling helmet.”
The device is designed like a hood and made in an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won’t rip when scraped against the ground.
When a cyclist wears the device, it protects nearly all of the head while leaving the field of vision widely open.
The device clearly offers safety among cyclist while uplifting new level of riding fashion.
Compare with the traditional helmet, the inflated airbag covers a much larger area. It is designed according to current accident statistics.
In 2014, about 21,287 cyclists in the United Kingdom were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,514 who are killed or seriously injured.
In case of an accident, the airbag inflates and simultaneously provides extremely soft and gentle shock absorption. The pressure remains constant for several seconds, making it able to withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident. After that the airbag slowly starts to deflate. The gas inflator that inflates the airbag is placed in a holder in the collar on the cyclist’s back.
Adding to the special features, it has also a black box in the collar that records 10 seconds of data on the cyclist’s movement patterns from an accident.
Meanwhile, the smart device has developed an algorithm and special feature that distinguish between accidents and stunts.
“Thousands of cycling accidents were re-enacted using stunt riders and crash-test dummies to collect the specific movement patterns of cyclists in accidents. In parallel, an equal amount of normal cycling data has been collected using test cyclists wearing Hövding in everyday cycling.” he said.
« Based on this collected data, we have developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling from accidents. Normal cycling means all the situations and movements that usually happen in a cycling context, bending down to pick up keys, etc. In the highly unusual category of cycling accident where no measurable movement appears within the cyclist, i.e. if an object falls from above straight down on the cyclist’s head, Hövding will not react,” the Hovding website says.
As of writing, Hovding is available in three collar sizes: Small, Medium and Large . In terms of operation, it makes no difference whether your Hövding is tight or loose around your neck.
According to the report, hovding airbag is functional for 10 hours of active cycling and takes three hours to recharge through a USB port.
The device estimatedly costs about 299 Euros and it is not yet available in India, it could gain popularity for people who have picked up cycling as a hobby.