One of the most common objections to wearing a bike helmet is that it’s simply not portable. Once you’ve arrived at your destination and chained your bike to the rack, you’re still stuck lugging around a helmet that’s often clunky…
There are plenty of excuses people give for why they don’t wear a helmet. Reasons ranging from the understandable complaint that they’re bulky and hard to carry around to self-conscious concerns about helmets “looking silly” or messing up the rider’s hair. Now, a new invention from two Swedish entrepreneurs is targeting an even more vain excuse, the criticism that helmets just aren’t “fashionable” enough. Enter the Hovding, an invisible helmet for fashion forward cyclists.
If you can get past all the fluff and self-congratulations, the video below features a brief demo of how the “invisible helmet” actually works:
Basically, it’s an airbag for your head. You wear a collar around your neck that will activate an airbag in the event of a collision. When the airbag inflates it protects the rider’s head by forming a hood, adhering to the same safety standards required of regular (less fashionable) helmets.
Because the collar is the only visible part of the helmet, riders can select from various covers and ensure their Hovding always matches whatever outfit they’ve chosen for that particular outing.
Unfortunately, as with any new technology, the Hovding is not without its drawbacks. The fashionable helmet-scarf costs nearly $600 and requires a battery that needs to be charged in order for the device to function properly. In comparison, you can get a decent bike helmet on Amazon for around $20, and as soon as you pop it on your head you’re good to go. No batteries necessary.
The only real argument in favor of this more expensive, less efficient, and equally bulky helmet is that it might encourage a few people to add an extra layer of protection before hopping on their bike. You can argue about the actual statistics surrounding the effectiveness of helmets all you want, but the bottom line is that it’s a very simple and minimally inconvenient way to give yourself a bit of extra protection in the event of an accident. And, if someone is so vain that it takes an airbag filled neckerchief to get them to prevent potential brain trauma, I suppose that’s still worth celebrating?