‘Invisible’ bike helmet promises to protect head, hairdo


by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff


Posted on November 18, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 8:19 AM

Portland is world famous for its passionate bike rider. But if you’re a biker rider who actually hates wearing a helmet, or if you simply value your hair more than your head, this may be the item for you.

Two Swedish women have invented an ‘invisible’ bike helmet. It’s actually a collar that deploys a helmet-like airbag when you have an accident.

Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt, graduate students from Lund University, said they love bikes but hate helmets. They claim no one in Sweden wears them.

“I don't want anything on my head,” Alstin said. “It’s bulky, like a hard mushroom on your head.”

And, most importantly for Alstin, it messes up your hair.

The two spent seven years developing the Hövding, a kind of bike safety hair-bag.

The device uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to analyze your movements 200 times a second in order to tell the difference between normal motion and sudden impact.

If someone drops something on your head, like a piano or an anvil, it won't deploy. But then if that happens, you are probably a cartoon, and you’ll be fine.

The designers claim it’s three to four times more shock absorbent than a regular helmet.

The collar which has a vaguely outdoorsy-looking style can be covered with patterned sleeves for the fashion conscious (someone likes paisley).

Thousands have been sold in Europe, but the device is not available in U.S. You can buy one online for $597.41 an extra shells cost $74.41.

It can only be used once, so you’ll have to decide in advance if your hair is really worth it.