Turns out there’s more than one use for the fashionable airbag bicycle helmet produced by the Swedish company Hövding. Its protective features may also help safe-guard people who are prone to falls due to seizure disorders.
Hövding has announced that it received a $25,000 Seal of Excellence award from the Epilepsy Foundation to help the company adapt the inflatable device to the needs of people with epilepsy.
The innovative product, which incorporates an airbag into a versatile, attractive collar that zips around the user’s neck (top photo), has garnered international attention since its development in 2005 by two Swedish women, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, as a master’s thesis in industrial design; they founded their company in 2006.
When deployed in response to sensors that signal unusual movement associated with a cycling accident, the airbag inflates around the head to form a cushioning barrier. The company had been receiving inquiries about adapting the helmet for use by epilepsy patients.
The challenge, which will require substantial additional funding, is to develop a device that is both more economical and reusable. “A successful version could greatly decrease the severity of head injuries that plague seizure disorders,” the Epilepsy Foundation noted in its announcement of the award.
The Hövding currently retails for approximately $525 and can only be used once. Sounds like future innovations could be a win for all users.