Anna Haupt, co-founder of Hovding, says she encountered the same sort of resistance to wearing helmets.
“People told us they wanted an ‘invisible’ cycle helmet,” she says.
“We heard it over and over again, that people did not want to wear helmets because it ruined their hair.”
Hovding’s airbag-style head gear stays folded inside a neck collar until the moment it detects an accident taking place.
Once the collar is switched on it uses six sensors to monitor the body’s movements 200 times per second, registering both the angles and speed of the neck.
During the ride, the helmet keeps track of the readings – ready to release the airbag if it receives a single data point that falls outside the normal range.
“If you happen to be in an accident, your body movements will be completely different from normal cycling,” Ms Haupt explains.
“An icy road produces more angular adjustments, and if you get hit by a car it’s a very obvious acceleration in your body,” she says.
But Dr Ian Walker says it isn’t only cyclists that have a mental block about helmets.
While they are an important protection if an accident takes place, seeing bikers wearing a helmet can actually cause some motorists to drive less carefully around them, he says.
Whilst also being a terrific solution to “hat hair” or “helmet hair”, but providing a similar safety solution to that of a car, whilst also being stylish, the Hovding airbag helmet could be the next big thing to find its way to the mainstream section of the cycling market place.
The helmets are available throughout Europe now from the Sweedish brand, hopefully they expand their market shortly.
Hovding’s website: http://www.hovding.com/