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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Can't bear to mess up your hair? Collar-mounted airbag could save lives of cyclists too vain to wear a helmet (so long as they don't mind lookingsilly when they crash)

By DAMIEN GAYLE

Safety gear: This sequence of photos shows who the Hövding can deploy in the split second before a crash to protect its wearer from a possibly catastrophic headfirst impact with the road

However often the need for safety equipment is emphasised to cyclists, there are still those who cannot bear the thought of messing up their hair with a helmet.
But for those whose vanity has until now trumped concerns over possible death or traumatic head injuries, help is at hand.
Swedish engineers have invented an airbag that fits around cyclists' necks and inflates within a split second to completely envelop their heads and protect them from an impact.

So you might be innocently cycling along, with your tresses blowing in the breeze

The Hövding collar is fitted with sensors that can detect unusual body movements seconds before an accident and trigger the device before any damage can be done.
Made from an ultra-strong nylon fabric, it takes about 0.1 seconds to inflate and can withstand several impacts, according to inventors Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin.
It took the pair six years of research to bring their dream to fruition and they hope it could be this year's ultimate cycling fashion accessory. It costs £370 but the price is likely to fall if it is mass produced.

When you suddenly, by accident, jam on your bicycle's front break

It looks as if an face-tarmac interaction is imminent - but luckily you are wearing your Hövding collar

Ms Alstin said: 'We wanted to make a head protection for bicyclists based on the demands that was presented through our surveys.
'Among other things the protection should keep the sense of freedom that goes with bicycling and not ruin your hair.
'In our opinion the range of bicycle helmets available is extremely narrow, they all look the same and the lack of variety results in very few people wearing them.
'Hövding is the solution to the problem, it's subtle and blends in with what else you are wearing.'

The cyclist is safe, despite landing face-first on the road

Ms Hupt added: 'The actual collar is the visible part of the invention.
'It's covered by a removable shell that you can change to match your outfit, and we'll be launching new designs all the time.
'It is a practical accessory that's easy to carry around, it's got a great looking yet subtle design, and will save your life.'



source: dailymail



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