Cycling is no stranger to safety innovation
, a welcome trend amid the push for urban sustainability and shifting commuting priorities
. But, until recently, bike helmets haven't evolved much, and that's odd, since helmet innovation has swept across several other categories, including those that help firefighters
, football players,
and people worried about impending natural disasters
. However, thanks to a few visionary inventors, now cyclists are finally getting safer with inventive new takes on cranial armor.
: Helmet hair can be a source of anguish, which means that too many cyclists often ride without skull protection
. So, to keep tresses perfectly coiffed while still protecting riders, Swedish industrial designers Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt developed the Hövding
, a bike helmet that stays nearly invisible until activation. The device is disguised as a collar and is equipped with sensors that detect when an accident is imminent, upon which it inflates into an airbag that surrounds the head within 0.1 seconds. Speaking to the vanity of its audience, the collar’s shell
can be switched out with an increasing array of colors, patterns, and fabrics.
Cyclists, unlike drivers who have blinkers to indicate turns, are often left to communicate via hand signals
. Luckily, a team from RMIT University's Exertion Games Lab
in Melbourne, Australia is developing a helmet, called the LumaHelm
, that gives riders a more visible way to signal turns. LED lights, which are plugged into to an Arduino Uno
circuit board to allow for individual control, blanket the helmet's surface. A built-in accelerometer calculates motion through head movements that generate different light signals. For example, a forward head tilt lights up the left side of the helmet to signify a turn, while a backwards tilt triggers red lights to signify breaking.
All-Weather Motorcycle Helmet
: As the changing seasons bring on more extreme elements across much of the world, gear that keeps cyclists toasty becomes essential. Portland-based designer Bob Averill, whose previous projects include the underwater hamster colony Hampture
, recently created the All-Weather Motorcycle Helmet
. Made from ordinary Vega
headgear, the product’s lining is outfitted with a lithium battery-powered heating element, as well as a solar panel-powered evaporative cooler for when summer approaches once again. Unfortunately, despite piqued interest around the web
, riders will have to remain patient for now, as Kickstarter rejected the project and Averill is pursuing new avenues to production.