Helmet Innovation - Invisible Helmet Created in Sweden
A Helmet That Isn't There... Until You Need It
Wearing a helmet, though, doesn't necessarily appeal to your sense of fashion, and almost definitely ruins your hair by the end of a day of riding.
Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, both Swedish industrial design students came up with an idea for an invisible helmet in 2005 while they were studying at the University of Lund.
The technology is based on airbag technology but also uses motion sensors to detect when the body is
moving abnormally. In circumstances when cyclists are in an accident or begin to fall, the helmet deploys an inflatable nylon hood around the cyclists head.
"It recognizes that your body is having an abnormal movement that you can't have unless your body is positioned radically different than how it's supposed to be," Alstin says. "In a way, it's technology that has existed before, but used together in a new way.
A cold gas inflator, positioned in the helmet's back collar, pumps the hood with helium when the sensors are triggered. The helmet stays inflated for several seconds so that it can absorb the shock of multiple hits in the same accident, before releasing the gas, and slowly deflating.
"We're hoping to enter new areas of usage and develop the technology further into new applications [so we can] save people in other ways," she says. "There's a lot to be done– we're definitely not short of ideas"