HÖVDING: A stylishly invisible helmet
While barreling down busy, urban blocks, a helmet can save your life. Unfortunately, most of them are awkwardly shaped, uninventively designed and mess up your hair—primary reasons that people in cities squirm at the idea of wearing them. So Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin from Sweden decided to tackle these problems holistically: make the helmet invisible. The end result is simply design genius.
Hövding is a collar worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that remains hidden, ready to deploy in the event of an accident. It’s ergonomic; it’s practical; it complies with all safety requirements, and it’s subtle enough to blend in with the rest of your outfit.
After detecting a collision, the airbag inflates into a massive hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist’s head. Sensors in the helmet constantly monitor movements and activate the trigger mechanism if they sense abnormal motion associated with a bicycle accident. The sensors—accelerometers and gyroscopes—would then send a signal to the gas inflator, deploying the airbag to provide cushion and protection. With a heap of smarts, it keeps you street ready: both fashionable and safe.
BLAZE BIKE LIGHT: A bike light that makes you more visible
Riding a bike is quiet and often invisible to cars, buses and trucks. A large majority, 79%, of cycling deaths in the UK are caused by vehicles turning into bikers they can’t see. To help solve this problem, Emily Brooke from the UK developed a special bike light that makes bicyclists more visible, even in driver blind spots. The BLAZE Bike Light covers standard biker needs with a super-bright LED front light, but it also adds a well-executed, new safety feature: it projects the symbols of a bike down onto the road ahead of the cyclist to alert drivers. The adjustable range ideally projects the bright green symbol about five meters to the front. Drivers who generally look ahead or use mirrors will see the bike symbol on the road in front of them, alerting them of the cyclist close by and helping them to prevent a collision.
BLAZE Bike Light increases the bike’s footprint on the road and gives an easily comprehensible warning to drivers—a completely new level of safety product for the urban cyclists.
ICEDOT CRASH SENSOR: A tiny sensor to call for help
The ICEdot Crash Sensor, developed by Chris Zenthoefer and his team in the US, combines sensors and the advantages of smartphone technology to quickly guide assistance to you in case an accident occurs. Attach the sensor to your helmet and pair it with the ICEdot app on your smart phone. Together, they are able to detect motion, changes in force and impacts. In the event of an accident, the sensor evaluates the abnormal movements and sends the critical data to the app. The app then sounds an alarm and initiates an emergency countdown. If the countdown clock is not stopped, the app then sends your GPS coordinates to emergency contacts so that the next steps of your rescue can be taken. In addition to urban cycling, this invention can be used for sport cyclists, on bike tours, and any type of snow sport.
These projects are a good start to ensuring the safety of urban cyclists in sleek, modern ways. They solve current needs with novel technologies and well-implemented design. It doesn’t matter if you’re riding your normal bike or cruising on your smart ebike–supported by its compact engine to accelerate and relax if you like—these are all worthwhile accessories.
We would enjoy hearing what you think about these projects. Please let us know in the comment section below! Also, do you know any other bike safety products that you would like Bettery Magazine to write about? Please let us also know below.