This is the Hövding 3, a new version of an airbag for cyclists that automatically deploys in just 0.1 seconds in case of an accident, automatically calling your designated emergency contacts after you bite the dust. Here's how it works in slow motion:
Found by Xploids, the new Hödving 3 has been “scientifically tested” at Stanford University, which found out that that it offers eight times better protection than a traditional hard helmet for cyclists, including a reduction on the risk of concussion. The company — which released the head-saving device earlier this week — also claims that it has three times better shock absorption than a hard helmet.
The airbag/helmet works by constantly tracking your movements. The device’s built-in computer system uses a custom algorithm to detect falls by analyzing the wearer’s movements 200 times per second. In case there’s a sudden deceleration and trajectory change, the helmet circuitry fires up the airbag mechanism, which fully inflates the helmet in just 0.1 seconds.
The new Hödving 3 also has a Bluetooth connection that pairs with your phone. In case of an accident, the helmet’s iOS or Android app will trigger calls to your designated emergency contacts.
Its only drawback is that, unlike a regular helmet, you need to make sure that the Hödving fully charged at all times. The Swedish company claims that it has a battery that can last for 15 hours of cycling, which can be charged with any USB-C cable.
If you drive a bike on the highway, though, this thing is not for you. The company makes it clear this is a device designed for urban cyclists.
The air-helmet can be securely adjusted to fit any neck’s size and could be customized with optional $55 covers. The Hödving 3 itself costs $331 (300 euro). If you want to go around with your head free — especially in hot days — that seems like a small price to pay for the convenience and the safety it provides.
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Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.