Meet the inflatable, 'invisible' bike helmet
August 17th, 2012
04:44 PM ET

Meet the inflatable, 'invisible' bike helmet

By Doug Gross, CNN

Hey, cyclists! Want to look more stylish while riding and still avoid the inconvenience of a cracked skull?

Then a pair of Swedish designers have got just the helmet for you - provided you're willing to fork over about $600 and aren't afraid of looking a little like a deployed airbag when you fall.

The newly released Hovding (no, Americans, that's not a futon from Ikea) is billed as The Invisible Bicycle Helmet. Begun in 2005 as a project for a master's-level industrial design course,  the blow-up helmet is housed in a pouch that, when wrapped around your neck, looks a little like a puffed-up ski-jacket collar.

But, using gyroscopes and accelerometers and other electronic sensors, the Hovding can sense a bike crash and then immediately blow up an airbag of sorts to surround the cyclist's head.

On their website, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin said they first began mulling the idea when Sweden passed a law requiring everyone 15 years old or younger to wear a helmet when cycling. The law spurred talk that all cyclists, not just children, should be made to wear a helmet - something that struck them as a fashion disaster.

"To people like us, who wouldn't be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought that we might be forced to wear one by law was cause for concern," they say in a post on their site. "Producing a bicycle helmet that people would be happy to put on looked like a much better way to go than legislation forcing people to wear one or else. "

The collar is now available with either of two "shells" - one black and the other a multi-colored paisley design. Both are modeled on the Hovding site by a chic-looking model (who, to her credit, also gamely wears the fully inflated helmet), and more designs are promised.

When the sensors are triggered, helium gas is deployed to fill up the nylon bag. Creators say it takes only a tenth of a second to fully inflate.

The Hovding (Swedish for "chieftain") also includes a "black box" that records the 10 seconds of data about a cyclist's movements before and during a crash. The creators ask users to send them the box after accidents, so they can continue to refine and improve the helmet.

Along the way, Haput and Alstin have employed the help of a brain-trauma specialist and have gotten millions of dollars of funding from investors. So the question now is - will anyone actually buy this thing?

At least for now, the price could be a hurdle. When converted from Swedish kroner, the helmet and one collar cost about $600.

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Filed under: Design • entrepreneurs • Fashion • Innovation • Science • Tech • Uncategorized
soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. mccccc

    I would much rather have a helmet on my head than a big thing that looks like a neck brace wrapped around my neck.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  2. JJ

    here in america the safety police would use the black box telemetry to deny you insurance coverage if you are injured by this thing if you were riding wrecklessly or raise your health insurance rates (read: Progressive Snapshot). I think we don't need another brain box watching our every move. Becides, I wear a helmet that has a hard shell specifically to protect against hard, sharp rocks...this thing looks like it would get sliced and diced on some of the trails I ride.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  3. ptw

    I prefer wearing a helmet. It can have a brim to help keep the sun out of my eyes, or if I look down a bit can help keep the bugs off my face/mouth. I'd certainly rather wear a helmet than wear a big neck muffler.

    Make bike helmets look better and maybe people wouldn't mind them so much. Of course, people oh-so-worried about their hair will never wear them anyway.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  4. Klaas Jan

    "To people like us, who wouldn't be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought that we might be forced to wear one by law was cause for concern," they say in a post on their site.

    Americans, not all of us Europeans are this way. These people are disgustingly pretentious.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • ChrisO

      Klass – I'm american and don't worry we get it. We have the same thing over here – google kim kardashian. Now you now our shame (but she is smokin' HOT!) We actually love you guys – but admittedly see things from a slightly different perspective.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • jscaramagna

      It is okay. I figure the type of person to wear a fancy hairdo like that probably isn't really an athlete who is riding their bike that hard anyway. :)

      August 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  5. ChrisO

    You could still face plant in it. Ouch. Or would thank smear her lipstick?

    August 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • jimmy

      WHAT???

      August 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  6. Mack

    The type of people who are that concerned about how they look in a helmet probably don't have much of a brain to protect anyway.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  7. brian

    The article implies that you can't wear a bike helmet and be stylish. I've been riding for 20+ years and never had a second thought about putting my helmet on.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • ChrisO

      Uh Brian – without a picture of yourself your comment is meaningless. Just sayin.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • jimmy

        Picture a skinny geek, probably with a scraggly beard.

        August 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  8. Zbtb7

    Why look like a dork with a proven helmet when you can sport the swag of having a fanny pack around your neck?

    August 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  9. ScottCA

    This is the second time they have reported on this. This is not news, this is advertising.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • jason

      what's the difference?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  10. Kip

    What if you ride that thing on with mountain bike and going down stairs?

    Will it pop or fail?

    August 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  11. John

    Tenth of a second sounds like too long to prevent a neck injury.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • ChrisO

      John – A regular helmet is deployed in 1 zeroth of a second and won't prevent neck injury. Just sayin.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  12. kz

    I seriously wonder if they have tested these out on anyone with epilepsy . . . As someone who has taken 2 serious falls and injured my head while having seizures, I would wear one of those on the "bad" days!

    August 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  13. Dillard

    She looks way better with the helmet on. Her chin really irritates my eyes.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  14. Xesor

    Can they make air bag for the whole body? That would be cool, your about to crash then all the sudden your inside a big bubble that bounces around the crash scene.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  15. Ugh

    There is just something so arrogant and condescending about the way they're marketing this product that is a serious turn off.

    August 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  16. Nickathome

    Another case of someone trying to reinvent the wheel with something that isn't required. Contemporary bike helmets work and can be stylish in their own right......I'm waiting for the civil wrongful death suits to happen when one of these things malfunctions and instead of protecting the rider, winds up taking their head off .

    August 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • STEEDISH

      As a lawyer, I was thinking the same thing, Nick. This is just a bad idea on so many levels.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  17. ramble3144

    This was secretly tested on VP Biden. It failed.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  18. Crystalclear008

    It's clear this invisible helmet is not for common people I mean for people with common sense.......... so let the others try also I doubt if this helmet can be launched as a protective gear perhaps as a protective accessories. There are laws it has to meet the safety standards.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  19. Pennsylvania mountain biker

    I won't speak for other branches of cycling but I can't see this idea being accepted in mountain biking anytime soon. The uninflated collar would be incredibly hot and annoying on the long climbs in XC/AM and I wouldn't trust it inflated falling hard into sharp-edged granite rock gardens. As far as facial protection goes a full-face downhill mountain bike helmet (though hot in summer) represents a far cheaper, safer alternative if you're riding sketchy DH stuff.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  20. ScottCA

    This device would be prone to failures to deply and unsafe. Nothing beats a true helmet.

    Also there would be considerable risk of injury if an object was between your skull and the inflating helmet, due to the required speed of inflation and the force invloved in that.

    In short this device is a terrible idea.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • kh

      @ScottCA...unless you compare it to not wearing a helmet, then it's much better.

      Why do people feel the need to state the obvious, like they're some kind of expert?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
      • ScottCA

        You missed the point entirely. This would encourage people to feel a false sense of security. That does not help. Promoting use of real helmets is far more beneficial.

        And claiming the point is evident and obvious, does not invalidate my point, but rather strengthens it.
        I suggest re-reading the post, if there is evidence of my claiming authority through expert knowledge please present it, otherwise your attack on my person is only ad hominem and invalid.

        August 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    It MIGHT work, provided you have a 10 inch tall neck like the model does....
    I'd still rather have a helmet than that...that...that THING strapped around my neck...just WAITING to go off.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  22. SilentBoy741

    I foresee a lot of kids whacking passing bicyclists on the neck just to see the helmet go off - for fun.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  23. OSULaderer

    While I think this helmet is a great idea, I think I would be too scared to use it. I'm sure it probably works as well (or better) than a normal helmet, but at least with the normal helmet I know it's there. I was in a nasty little crash this past spring and my helmet was pretty much destroyed. I was cut up and really bruised for a number of weeks, but my head was fine. Now that I've had something that I know works, I'd be hard pressed to try something which isn't so proven. Maybe when it's mroe accepted I'll give it a go, but there's still something about feeling the safety device on your head that makes you feel a bit safer.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  24. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    The collar looks hot, bulky, and it won't protect against objects the run into my head. Definitely NOT WORTH IT!

    August 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  25. King

    What if someone thew a rock on my head? Will it work?

    August 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  26. klamerus@pobox.com

    Is there an inflatable bra that goes with this?

    August 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  27. Desi

    The problem with this helmet is that the wearer can't see ahead of time how snugly it will fit when it inflates. My son had a bike accident skidding on a sandy downhill slope. Hit a rock near the bottom and went flying over the handlebars landing on his forehead, which split open his excellent and well-fitting helmet - instead of his head. He had a concussion and needed a year of plastic surgery on facial wounds, but no question that the helmet saved his life. To be effective, helmets must fit properly. That inflatable helmet covers the forehead area, but can it be pushed back from the forehead on impact? People have different sized and shaped heads.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  28. Desi

    The problem with this helmet is that the wearer can't see ahead of time how snugly it will fit when it inflates. My son had a bike accident skidding on a sandy downhill slope. Hit a rock near the bottom and went flying over the handlebars landing on his forehead, which split open his excellent and well-fitting helmet - instead of his head. He had a concussion and needed a year of plastic surgery on facial wounds, but no question that the helmet saved his life. To be effective, helmets must fit properly. That inflatable helmet covers the forehead area, but can it be pushed back from the forehead on impact? People have different sized and shaped heads. Trust me, take no chances - I still have the cracked helmet to remind me.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I don't know if the people who invented this monstrosity have ever seen the average city street. Usually the street has sharp stuff like glass, jagged pebbles and stuff like that. I wonder what it would take to puncture it rendering it practically useless.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  29. PantyRaid

    Can you guys make this device for b0obs please?

    Thanks.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  30. Princess peach

    I like people that come up with new ideas. Why all the haters out there? It might not be your thing but what have you developed lately? Alternatives to everything, nice to have choices. I actually like the idea that I don't have something heavy sitting ontop my head. I like to feel the breeze on my head when I ride a bike but can't currently do that! Get a grip haters!

    August 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Chris Lee

      Thank you. You are truly a princess.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Helmet honey

      Who said we can't state our opinion? Remember, this is an object, not a person. I don't think it's going to get mad at us. Maybe the creators, but again, are we required to like everything and since when can't we say if we don't like a product? I think calling people "haters" is a bit of a strong word for this situation.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  31. cobiat

    I ACTUALLY THINK THE OLD FASHION HELMETS LOOK GREAT. WHY WOULD PEOPLE WANT TO BURN MONEY ON THIS MONEY-BURNING INVENTION?

    August 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  32. Tom

    Awesome innovation!!! Some comments/concerns:
    1]The model in the pic doesn't seem dressed for a bicycle ride.
    2]I'm suddenly concerned about decapitation if this invisible helmet opens up and catches me head the wrong way.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  33. J3sus Sandals

    I think I saw Bjork wearing one of these deployed during her concert.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  34. rocinante

    Hopefully this leads to a lot of new high tech active protection gear. Inflatable neck ring for motorcyclist to prevent neck injury? Inflatable tactical armor for police? Full body airbag for skiers about to hit a tree?

    August 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  35. Jeremy Jones

    The speed at which these things must inflate is inherently dangerous. Airbags in cars which are filled by the same compressed carbon canisters that these things must use in order to be effective regularly break arms and cause injuries to drivers and passengers. The fact that this is wrapped around someone's neck prior to inflation is will likely lead to litigation surrounding neck injuries as they become more popular. My suggestion to those who may be interested in this to wait for the safety to prove out in the general market before purchasing, or just wear a regular bike helmet which is every bit as effective.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I don't think anyone's worried about this thing taking off. There's been so many "innovations" in cycling that never made it. There's been oval shaped chainrings, electronic shifters, goofy frame shapes and the numerous failed materials used in construction and many more. Things are going back to steel framed single speed bikes, some companies are even going back to coaster brakes. Simple, durable bikes that require almost no maintainence. Even when it comes to cycling clothes, unless their in a race or on a major long distance tour, almost no one wears a full kit. Simple is almost always better. This thing is so ridiculously complicated. Who wants to charge their helmet? Who wants to wear a huge collar around their neck?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      It's normally a good idea to actually read the article before you comment on it.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Errogant 2

      Bring back the Penny-Farthing!

      August 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  36. Mike

    Considering I'm carrying a micro pump, a mini tool kit, tire levers/patch kit, a spare tube and a U Lock with me along with my laptop, lunch, keys and all that good stuff on my back on my way to work in the morning, I don't want some ungodly thing around my neck impeding the movement I need to see when I'm moving.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  37. Mike

    Well, I watched the videos. Not only does it look like your wearing a friggin tire around your neck, having a black box, an inflation system, the shell and all that stuff has to weigh a lot more than a helmet.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • DeeCee10000

      I would just wear it inflated all the time just to see what people say.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  38. dike

    I get this is for the rich who want to ride a bike for the first time down a technical double skull trail.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  39. dike

    I have fallen off a bike so many times. With this helmet each fall would cost me $600 + alien looks....

    August 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I'm sure the company is working on an equally expensive way to repack that thing.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  40. Kris

    Uum....or you could just wear a regular helmet.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  41. dike

    hmmm, Her long hair must have been in front of her face when that thing went off. Maybe the big $$ you pay is because it keeps your hairdo clean. which BTW is the main thing when cycling.... for all the cyclist who dont know...

    August 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  42. LogiK

    Jesus Wept

    August 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • DeeCee10000

      Are you kidding? Jesus would have loved this head protection. . . the crown of thorns might not have hurt as bad had he been wearing this.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  43. Mike

    More and more companies are coming out with helmets for bicycle commuters who don't want to look like roadies or mountain bikers that have just as much protection Bern is a good example, Bell makes a couple similar helmets. There are companies making cycling clothes that not only work well riding but you could wear them in the office as well. Things have come a long way from when I started commuting by bike 6 years ago. You don't have to spend 600 bucks on a helmet that looks even dumber than the helmets they are trying to get away from.

    August 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  44. John

    What happens if I'm cycling and a car comes up from behind, narrowly misses my body, but the mirror smacks the back of my head? This wouldn't sense such a thing...

    August 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • dike

      it would not be a car it will be a truck for the mirrors to be that high. in that case you will be dead with or without a helmet....

      August 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
      • John

        Not true at all, 20 MPH impact would not kill with a helmet on.

        August 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  45. Alycia

    I wonder if this would be embraced and/or useful for individuals with severe epilepsy.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • DeeCee10000

      It looks like something Lady Gaga would wear. It's VERrrrreeee chic. I'm thinking about getting one of these to wear for the next party I host. Does anyone know if there is a matching outfit that goes with this head wear? I'm thinking really high platform shoes, white silk pants, no shirt.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  46. jdoe

    It's expensive right now, but that's because it's new. With some redesign it can potentially protect your neck and face as well. A bad fall can rearrange your face pretty good and take out a few teeth. $600 will be cheap in comparison.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  47. pbernasc

    one little problem, it does not protect the face and will probably be pushed off at the moment of the impact.

    Yeah, it was a good exercise and will never be used in real life

    August 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • spaz

      A regular bicycle helmet does not protect the face – it is not designed to. Also, a regular helmet is designed to absorb and break apart. Ask me how I know.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  48. Mike

    I've seen stories about this thing on bicycle blogs for the last few years. It's a pretty ridiculous concept. 600 bucks for an airbag to wear around your neck. You can get a pretty nice bicycle helmet for 100 bucks that's been proven to keep you safe.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  49. Eric

    She said "To people like us, who wouldn't be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet..." well yea, cause you'd be dead. And an idiot. Ironic choice of words.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  50. patrickford

    I think I'll stick with a light weight inexpensive helmet rather than wear this expensive, bulky neck brace. What a silly case of over thinking the problem.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  51. mike

    I looked it up. Its $600 US. I don't bike, but just in case I guess I'll buy a good old fashioned helmet at the fraction of the cost.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • Helmet honey

      Amen!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
    • John

      If you looked it up you would know that it was 80 bucks, not 600.

      August 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  52. Giovanni Brassanini

    did any of u retarded people who think ur so darn funny by giving all these quirky little examples of social humiliation, ever think (yeah i know, its already a stretch) that maybe...just maybe the thing works like a normal helmet? meaning u can take it off when ur not riding the bike. u wouldnt wear an uncomfortable, bulky helmet everywhere u go. no. duh. u would take it off when not riding. same thing with this "helmet." gosh! y u retarded americans have to make the rest of us look just as stupid?
    now im not hating on this thing, as nobody else should, i prefer a normal motorcycle helmet. and yes obviously i would get one thats cool.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Helmet honey

      Don't trip chocolate chip.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      He mad

      August 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
      • Helmet honey

        Yeah, maybe he works for the company. He is really taking this hard. It's Friday, lighten up folks!

        August 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  53. Giovanni Brassanini

    did any of u retarded people who think ur so darn funny by giving all these quirky little examples of social humiliation, ever think (yeah i know, its already a stretch) that maybe...just maybe the thing works like a normal helmet? meaning u can take it off when ur not riding the bike. u wouldnt wear an uncomfortable, bulky helmet everywhere u go. no. duh. u would take it off when not riding. same thing with this "helmet." gosh! y u retarded americans have to make the rest of us look just as stupid?
    now im not hating on this thing, as nobody else should, i prefer a normal motorcycle helmet. and yes obviously i would get one thats cool. (geez. stupid people...go to sweden maybe u guys can learn a thing or two).

    August 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      Not sure I'd want to learn anything from someone who is willing to spend $600 to not wear a bike helmet. That's more than my bike cost. If you can afford that and are worried about your looks, more than likely you're going to be in a car. Just another solution without a problem.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  54. Brian

    I wonder if they've read Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash. A product EXACTLY like this was discussed in great detail for the use of couriers and motorcyclists. Hope they don't try to get a patent in America or they will face the same issue entrepreneurs did where Robert Heinlein's waterbed concept from Stranger in a Strange land was considered "prior art" prevented patenting the Waterbed itself. Notice that all posted waterbed patents in the US deal with the frame and not the water containment device itself..... I wonder if the prior art concept is recognized in other countries.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • HoboWhisperer

      Ha! That was my first thought too :) I figured if I read enough comments, someone would have beaten me to it though. Good book.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  55. frothingbadger

    I prefer the invisible bike.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  56. lou50

    The one state that comes to mind to require all car drivers wear this is Maryland. They kill someone in a car accident every 18 hours. The concept of driving between the road lines, stopping at stop signs and traffic lights is lost on 80% of the drivers. Even the state police will pass uou on the shoulder of the road while you are holding to turn left. You can't make this up.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  57. The future

    Complaints about existing helmets was lack of being able to hear, neck injury, etc. Being this is the 1st generation model,
    I'm boggled what they may come up with in the future.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • jesse

      Then wear a proper coat that shields the neck and pads the helmet.

      It is still better than leaving your face on the road.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  58. leapfrog

    BWAHAHAHAHA....

    August 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  59. Charlie

    How image conscious would you have to be to absolutely hate the idea of wearing a normal helmet? Are you riding your bike for enjoyment, for fitness, or just to be seen? Fail.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  60. Liberals Know Best

    How about we Integrate this technology into football helmets? So insted of watching football players pound each others brains into mushy soup, it'll be more like watching a transparent bag of pop corn go off in the microwave:)

    August 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • Linda

      That is just great, haha.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  61. GoBack

    It's year 2012... I would look STUPID on public if that thing explode like giant space halmet with sensor malfunction like earthquake or trip over street hole. I would be embarrassed if kids laughing that thing. "Hahhahah. Hey jimmy. look it's super mario brother's mushroom man. hahhahahah"

    No.... you can have it.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • The future

      They can laugh all they want, the alternative may be folks gasping at a skull cracked like an egg, oozing brain matter
      on the road.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • Helmet honey

        Orrrrrr . .. . news flash: buy a basic helmet! Did you forget they exist? You can spend $600 or $50. They both work well, in fact the helmet may win. Now which will it be?

        August 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  62. Snacklefish

    I do not like the cone of shame.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  63. Pony tail

    Are Swedes really this self conscious? Lighten up folks! It's just a helmet.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  64. puckles

    This is RETARDED. How often do women even ride bikes?! If they do they are usually taking the back seat to a guy. I do not think there would be a big market for this.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • jdoe

      Uh... There's no reason that it couldn't be designed to be worn by men as well. I can see that it can potentially protect the neck, and could be redesigned to protect the face as well, something a current bicycle helmet doesn't do.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • biglio

      ah, Americans......always thinking that what they do and how they look is the standard......all over the world women, and men use the bicycle regularly to go to work, shop and as their transportation method of choice, china and europe are much bigger markets than the US, please keep sticking your over-sized butts to your SUVs while we keep biking (and incidentally keep in shape and don't pollute...)

      August 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
      • Huh?

        You're so missing the point. No one is bashing bike use. Au contraire. The problem is the fact that someone is so self conscious to wear a $20 buck helmet that they waste $600 on a giant bubble head contraption.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • NS

      It's the same reason why some people spend $80,000 on a car vs. $2,000 for a used one. They both get you from point A to B.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
      • osnkzgch

        9OE5il ceufhodtvsan

        May 21, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • Mary

      I believe the intent if for bicycle use, not motorcyle. FYI: lots of women ride motocyles without a man in front of them!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
      • Stan

        Maybe SOME, but not LOTS. I'm a rider, and i can tell you that less than 3% are female riders.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  65. terrible

    Good idea but this idea failed. Once you used this AIR BAG helmet....Explodes.....you can't used it again.
    So,hard helmet actually won. you can use again and again.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • Not exactly

      Actually, you shouldn't reuse a traditional bike helmet that has sustained a crash either.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • Spaceball1

      It's not advisable to continue wearing a helmet if it's been through a wreck. They're designed to protect one time.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • Biker

      Reusing a regular bike helmet that has been in a crash is like reusing an air bag in a once-crashed car... it only works if you replace it with a new one. Same with the new design.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  66. sunder

    $600 will wait till someone vows he/she is alive because of that... till then will wear my helmet and be uncool!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  67. jjw

    "no americans that is not a futon from Ikea" wow what a pompous ass

    August 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • saidso

      Ha. No kidding. But maybe that's what the author thought, because it didn't occur to me.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Did you turn it off

      They might as well put a futon on your head. It would be just as attractive and possibly even cheaper.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  68. jok

    Imagine you meeting your friend by shaking hand.... PUFFF.... HOLY COW, what just happen?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Sid you turn it off

      Yeah, remember to look for that dang on/off button or be ready for some serious social humiliation!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  69. CTM

    I'd like to see what happens to her pony tail when the device deploys. My guess is that it would come over the top of her head and hit her face at about 90 MPH. OUCH! That pony tail has to go somewhere – there would be a lot of hair covering up that pretty smile.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  70. Animal

    I didn't realize that a fractured skull was a problem when riding a bike. My bike was my mainstay trans when I was growing up. I know I wouldn't have been caught dead with a helmet on. I wouldn't get caught dead with one now.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  71. Moi

    Wow– good thing no one cares about the front of their face... DESIGN FAIL.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • jdoe

      Uh... The current helmet doesn't protect the face either. This can be redesigned to protect the face as well.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
      • Moi

        uh, the current hard helmet does good Sir. oh wait.. one more "uh" for ya.

        August 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • jdoe

        Don't be so quick to dismiss this. Yes it's expensive, but that's just because it's new. With some redesign it can protect your neck and face as well. A bad fall can do a number on your face, not to mention a few teeth.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  72. Tom

    What I want is a (viral) video of a test of this... someone standing there smiling... then set it off and video at, say, 1000 frames/sec. Still better than being dead, but dang, I get it hurts if your piercings get caught in it.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  73. Jason

    Ummm.....Why not just wear a helmet?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      Thats the most intelligent post ...why to take a risk?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
      • Moi

        the most intelligent comment followed by the sentence, "why to take the risk". I love it! LOL

        August 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  74. Tom

    OMG! If you're about to be in a collision, you turn into Callista Gingrich!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  75. cpc65

    Is it reusable if it deploys, or is it a $600 one shot deal?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Spaceball1

      More than likely it's a one time deal, like airbags in a car. If they go off you have to replace them.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  76. sweetkimberly

    Can't...............Stop.....................Laughing!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      Why? Are you a Republican 'nerd'?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
      • Huh?

        Are you 4?

        August 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  77. Tom, Hamilton, VA

    OMG! If you're about to be in a crash, you turn into Callista Gingrich!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  78. Fashion trouble

    Ok, now I have to color coordinate my leash with my shirt. This is gonna be a pain! Helmets were so much simpler!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Much, much easier to skip the shirt.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  79. Tim

    I saw a video of the two women who came up with the concept. It's ingenious. My only concern is this: What is the risk that it doesn't deploy?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  80. You've got to be kidding

    Apparently there's an on/off button. Oops, forgot to turn it on . . .

    August 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  81. jdoe

    This may be too expensive and not practical right now, but it has potential. The application may extend to neck and spine protection, even full body. Currently the helmet only protects the skull or not the neck or face. The "air bag" could be redesigned to protect the face as well. This may have applications for motorcycling, and I believe BMW is working on something similar.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • saidso

      I think $600 would be worth it if it can save your life. And I like your idea of it deploying to protect more. Even a non-fatal accident can be crippling.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • jdoe

        I am sure they will refine the design and improve it. I can definitely see this applied to motorcycling. It would be easier to integrate it into a motorcycle jacket.

        August 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
      • Mike

        While this might be a great idea for a Bicycle helmet alternative, it'd be suicide for a motorcycle rider. The impact energies can be orders of magnitude higher and, honestly, if you're not wearing a full face helmet, you're inviting disaster. Ever get smacked in the face by a Bee when you're doing 70?

        Now, as a full body outer layer on a jacket? That might be doable. Though something that's been thought of and prototyped multiple times over the last, what, 30 years?

        August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • jdoe

        You would still wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. As part of a jacket it could offer additional protection to the neck, spine, and possibly the whole body. I have read that BMW is working on something like this. The biggest impediment is commercial viability.

        August 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Mike

        I've heard a bit about the systems BMW and a couple of others are investigating, yeah. As an additional layer rather than a replacement, it would be a boon. Though not a new idea. I seem to remember a Popular Science cover from the late 70's or early 80's with a full body airbag suit, activated by a tether, for motorcyclists.

        What's old is new again?

        August 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
      • Posh? Not

        No, it's not worth it. A regular $50 helmet can save your life.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  82. Chris

    She looks so like a typical bike rider

    August 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  83. You've got to be kidding

    Apparently there's an on/off button. Oops, forgot to turn it on . . . you're screwed!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      To quote Steve Jobs, "I hate power buttons"!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  84. Yah Yah

    Do they make a condom version?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      There's a thought. All that extra inflation would make a man's self-esteem a lot.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Um, that is... "a lot higher".

        August 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • don415

      haha

      August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  85. royal

    out of my price range but I LOVE IT!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  86. wow

    Who rides a bike in an evening gown?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      You must be a Republican.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Huh?

      Apparently Swedes????

      August 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  87. justin91

    Just let the people ho hate helmets ride and die without one.Its their brain damage,Not ours.What is with this nanny state?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Bike Boy

      Great point ... I overheard someone saying that no helmet laws for motorcycles is stupid so I corrected them ... it's brilliant!!!! A funeral costs so much less than a 6 month stay in a hospital! If someone it stupid enough to ride a motorcycle with out a helmet then god bless him for keeping my insurance costs down by dying instead of living through the accident he is bound to have!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Sadly, a helmetless rider is more likely to be severely injured than outright killed. Which means your rates will actually go up. Not that I -like- helmet laws, mind you, but you'd need to use a different argument against them.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • saidso

      Unfortunately it is ours when we have to pay into services for the disabled.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
      • justin91

        I should have added this in my original post,But if the are crippled are paralyzed they should not be eligible for help if they knew the risks they were taking and did nothing to prevent it.I anyone is being careless why should anyone have to pay for a strangers carelessness?

        August 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • GnatB

      Government/Universal/Socialist Health Care. (or whatever you want to call it) They live as a vegetable for some 50 years, we all pay for it.

      Soon as other people pay for your healthcare problems, other people get a say in stopping said problems from occuring.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Q

      "they first began mulling the idea when Sweden passed a law requiring everyone 15 years old or younger to wear a helmet when cycling."

      These are kids. They're not old enough to make that decision. And, yes, it is a nanny state. When they end up in a wheelchair or have massive permanent brain damage, it's up to the taxpayer to take care of them for the rest of their lives. So the taxpayer should get a say in it.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
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  88. Francis

    1. It doesn’t come with invisible glasses to keep bugs and rain out of your eyes
    2. They will need to make it in assorted colors so when you crash you look stylish and they use the jaws of life to pry it off of your neck when it cuts off circulation
    3. I don’t see a this side up arrow what if I put it on wrong
    4. Is there a safe word I can scream as I am flying about to
    I need answers hehehe

    August 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  89. Bike Boy

    Could it be more uncomfortable looking?

    Also, if the model didn't have a matching black dress on that thing would look completely stupid!

    I think I'll be keeping my old fashoned bike helmet AND my $600!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  90. jb

    Conventional helmets are so commonplace, I think riders look more out of place without rather than with a helmet. 30 years ago, I could maybe understand the stigma.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  91. jesse

    Won't work at all against a rock flying through the air.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • jb

      If the flying rock hits you in the face and causes you to decelerate, the bag deploys, saving the rest of your head from further trauma. :D

      August 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • cpc65

        Or you're riding down the street and remember you forgot something.
        1. "D'oh!"
        2.Headsmack
        3. Helmet deploys
        4. *Crash*
        5. You wind up on Youtube with folks commenting on what a dork you are.

        August 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  92. Paul

    This thing is a fail on so many levels
    1. looks dumb before and after.
    2. If the airbag inflates so quickly wouldn't that knock the user uncontious from deployment
    3. Waste of precious helium
    4. Dumb just because. A bike helmet looks far nicer then a what I see from the picture.
    5. What's up with the black box? Just another excuse to spy on and track people?
    6. Freggin expensive
    7. Just wear a helmet and now worry if the airbag is faulty and could go off without warning, or not at all.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • doresoom

      1. Yes.
      2. The air bag inflates around the user's head, unlike a traditional airbag.
      3. The amount of helium this thing will use is pretty negligible. They most likely chose it because it was a low-molecular weight inert gas. I suppose they could have used hydrogen, but nobody wants a Hindenberg surrounding their head.
      4. That's an aesthetical opinion. Many people would most likely prefer the collar look to a helmet.
      5. The algorithm for deployment triggering can be improved through the crash data. (To dumb it down, they want to know if there are ways to crash that wouldn't deploy the helmet.)
      6. Yes.
      7. Yes.

      I really felt like you were grasping at straws with your petty little list. It's an interesting concept, even if it is ugly and impractical.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Huh?

        Uh, clearly he was cracking jokes. Go right ahead and get one of these things if you like. It's your $600 you're throwing away, not mine.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  93. humtake

    I don't see why people wouldn't want to buy it. They make it out to be like $600 is so much higher than what people will spend on helmets now anyways. But one piece of advice, get rid of the sickly looking model wearing it. If she gets in a crash, her head won't be the problem since her entire skeleton frame will crack. Put this on real riders and let us see it in action. With the right advancements over time, this could be a great invention.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • jb

      I could buy a new bike for $600.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Bike Boy

      Even if you do way overpay for a helmet at $600, you can use it again and again. One tumble with this thing, even if you don't hit your head but go down with it on, you have to buy another one @ $600 ... my bike helmet will work again and again.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  94. kramer72

    Just be certain not to land on your face.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  95. This isn't going to fly

    This will never be allowed in the U.S.. Police will stop you, tell you that you don't have a helmet on, and slap you with a huge ticket. They will have to change some laws and if it was legal, people would lie and say, oh I have one of those "invisible helmets". Moreover, I wouldn't trust this thing. Have they even tested it to make sure it really works? What about things hitting you from above? I wouldn't trust this.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Bike Boy

      Heyyyyyyy ... you gave me an idea ... if these guys could invent an "invisible driver" for my car then when I get pulled over for DUI I can just slip into the passanger seat and tell the officer "No, it's okay ... I have one of those invisible drivers"

      ... I'm a genius!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  96. Daniel

    Because being rude to Americans is always cool!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  97. mayor menino

    That looks stupid. only a liberal would buy that

    August 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Give us a break

      Mayro Menino, are you so pathetic that everything you don't like is somehow attributable to liberals? The reason you live in a trailer that smells like BO and dog pee is because of liberals? The reason your NASCAR t-shirt has food stains from the spagetti-os and beer you had for breakfast are because of liberals? The reason you can't get a job, even though you made it all the way to sixth grade (after three tries) is because of liberals? You have no one to blame for being a mouth-breathing hillbilly but yourself. Now, go buy one of those helmets. You know you want one. It'll go well with the skirt and lumberjack boots you wear down at the barn dance when you're pretending to be a woman.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • saidso

        Good grief. How childish. "I don't like it, it must be a liberal thing" And how limiting. What if a conservative does like it? Are they exiled or what?

        August 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bike Boy

      Only a liberal on the dole can afford one ... I'm too busy working to pay my taxes so those lazy libs can stay on the dole!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • saidso

        You'd be wiser to realize that if you're that close to the edge, you're only one health problem away from living off the dole yourself.

        August 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  98. Eric

    Until it goes off in a crowded bar and the humiliation ruins your life.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • saidso

      If anyone's life is ruined by something so silly, maybe they weren't living a particularly worthwhile life to begin with. First world problems.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
      • Helmet honey

        It's called a joke. Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this Friday.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • JC

      That would be the one designed to stop you from ordering your scotch on the rocks. It'd also make a hell of a commercial for Jameson whiskey. *pop* "Real men drink their whiskey neat. Friends don't let friends drink fine whiskey on the rocks... without a crash helmet."

      August 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  99. ComeBreakMe

    This is completely stupid. What a waste.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  100. Kevin

    Stylish? Eww, this looks like the thing my vet put on my dog to prevent him licking his balls.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • cpc65

      If you wore this thingy you probably wouldn't be able to lick yours either.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • JC

        On the other hand, if you don't wear a helmet, you may be left in a state where you can't even find them.....

        August 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
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