You see cyclists like this everyday. Biking around without a helmet, putting their lives at the mercy of even just a small little accident. It makes you nervous for them… Wait, what? This guy IS wearing a helmet? Yes, in fact he is wearing his helmet around his neck!
How does it work? Think of the Hovding helmet as an airbag system. When it senses sudden movement or impact, the airbag deploys within milliseconds around your head. It’s a new technology, and it’s invented by two swedish women when they first investigated this problem in their master’s thesis in industrial design.
So what problem does the solution really solve? It’s for people who find carrying around a traditional hard helmet inconvenient or that wearing a helmet is not really fashionable. Hovding comes in different styles so you can theoretically choose a style complementary to whatever your wearing on any particular day. But it’s only “theoretically” for now, as the price for these helmets are just too high for the average user.
At more than $600 USD for each helmet, it is unlikely you will really purchase a few more than one of these, if at all. The helmets, once inflated, cannot be used again. There is a switch for turning the deployment sensor on and off, but let’s face it – we all forget sometimes. So there is still a risk for accidental deployment causing you to be down $600 immediately: i.e. if you bump into something while walking and wearing one of these. It may also embarras you if the Hovding did deploy when you didn’t need it to – even if you were on a bike.
So all in all, while the Hovding is a novel concept with state-of-the-art technology, it still has user experience and price issues that it needs to solve before the world buys into it. Revolutionary products take time to perfect, and maybe one day Hovding will get there.