Airheads: Inflatable helmets?
With the exploding popularity of air vests for riders, it’s only a matter of time. Shara gets the scoop on the world’s first “invisible helmet.”
An inflatable helmet designed for cycling by a Finnish company called Hovding just hit the market, reports horsetalk.co.nz. It inflates when you become detached from your bike, and it’s supposed to be three times safer than a helmet. Could this be the future of riding helmets?
The helmet is even more hi-tech than current air vests. Unlike the vest, which plugs into your saddle and inflates when the plug detaches in a fall (or a dismount, if you’re forgetful), the helmet contains sensors that “pick up abnormal movement of a cyclist in an accident,” triggering inflation. This, of course, could be troublesome if your horse is generally an abnormal mover.
The helmets are quicker to inflate than the current air vests, becoming Stay Puft Marshmallow Man hoods in a tenth of a second. Today’s air vests take twice that long.
Additionally, the airbag has a changeable shell so riders can accessorize to match their wraps and saddle pads–a great feature for eventers and little girls (as long as it comes in Barbie pink).
This could bring back the days when riders can safely gallop with the wind through our hair, bringing our lives at least tiny a step closer to the covers of Harlequin romance novels–minus Fabio, plus split ends.
More importantly, IT COULD MEAN THE END OF HELMET HAIR!
But does it really work?
A European insurance company thinks so. The company, Folksam, declared it “best in class” in its bike helmet test. In fact, the company found it three times as protective as the best conventional helmet.
Slowly, technology bringing us closer to inflatable possibilities (some) people have dreamed of for years.
Now if someone could just start working on it for horses…
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