The Swedes are proving that innovation is in their blood with this exciting product I recently discovered, an airbag cycle helmet. Named the Hövding, it has the ability to create an airbag around your head so when you are about to have an accident it senses pattern changes in your cycling. Meet Hövding, The Invisible Airbag Helmet With Stylish Potential.
Hövding started out in 2005 as a master’s thesis by the two founders Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin. Whilst studying Industrial Design at the University of Lund, they developed the idea of designing a new type of cycle helmet was a response to the introduction of a law on mandatory helmet use for children up to the age of 15 in Sweden, which triggered a debate on whether cycle helmets should be mandatory for adults too. Anna and Terese saw their master’s thesis as an opportunity to find out whether it would be possible to develop a cycle helmet that people would be happy to wear – whether they had to or not.
After 7 years of development, in partnership with experts on cycling head injuries, airbag technology, mathematics and crash tests, the Hövding airbag cycle helmet provides the best shock absorption and has proved to have more than 3x better shock absorbance capacity than all other helmets.
So how does it work? The Hövding protects the cyclist’s head, compared to traditional helmets, due to a circular collar covered in fabric that zips around your neck and rests on your shoulders. So ladies (and gents) that means we no longer have to suffer helmet hair! Hövding have analyzed the physics of a person falling in many crash scenarios and built an algorithm into internal sensors taking samples at “200 times per second” that, when they detect the rapid movement that indicates an upcoming crash, inflates a large fabric airbag hood within 1/10th of a second.
On the invisible airbag bike helmet, Stig Håkansson, former Director of Product Safety at the Swedish Consumer Agency shared, “I have spent much of my professional life working on product safety at national and international level and I have never seen a cycle helmet that provided anything like the level of protection that the Hövding provides”. Maria Krafft, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of Division Traffic Safety & Environment at the Swedish insurance company Folksam added, “Hövding is the biggest thing since the emergence of the cycle helmet and, as a milestone, is equivalent to when the airbag was developed for cars.”
Designed for both women and men, Hövding won the Venture Cup in 2006 and more recently they were CE marked and now the helmet complies with the requirements laid down in the EU Directive for personal protection equipment.
Hövding is made of black, waterproof, dirt-repellent functional fabric that rests comfortably around your neck. It is easy to put on, with a centre front zip. There is a hook on the inside of the collar that allows you to hang up your Hövding. The collar is supplied with a black basic cover which is made of durable functional fabric that protects your Hövding against dirt and wear. The cover is attached to the collar by simply zipping it around. You can easily change the appearance of your Hövding, by purchasing an extra cover for it. All the covers have different appearances and functionalities. Priced £249, you can shop Hövding HERE.
Hövding is located in Malmö, Sweden and their production is carried out by the Swedish company Alva in Portugal.