The invisible bike helmet

As an enthusiastic, though wobbly, cyclist, I make a point of wearing my cycle helmet whenever I go out on my bike. Although there are many arguments for and against the wearing of helmets, they make me feel a little bit safer when I’m riding down a winding country lane.

Then I saw an article on Treehugger about a new helmet which has recently become available on the market: the Hovding.

The Hovding is an inflatable helmet contained in a collar – you cycle with the collar around your neck and it will inflate when it senses an impact, covering your head and providing protection in the event of an accident, like an airbag in a car. You can wear a hat or scarf (as long as the collar isn’t covered) and it will expand around them.

This invention is a wonderful illustration of several of the TRIZ Tools. It is a separation in time as we want the helmet to be there when we need it (to protect us in an accident) and not there when we don’t (so we don’t look silly).

It is an example of Pneumatics and Hydraulics (inventive principle 29),

Dynamics (principle 15)

and Flexible Membranes/ Thin films (principle 30).

It is also an example of the trend of Increasing Flexibility (going from a rigid system to a flexible or hydraulic one).

Have a look at the Hovding in action here

This is definitely something I would wear. Would you?

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