Invisible Bicycle Helmet: Where Safety Meets Fashion30 August, 2012 at 21:10 | Posted in Body & Mind, Funny things :-), Technology | Leave a comment
Tags: Body & Mind, design, funny things, technology
GOTHENBURG, Sweden—In Sweden, wearing a bicycle helmet is optional for adults—and most adults opt not to wear one. Two industrial design students, preparing their degree project, wanted to know why. The answer set the wheels in motion to create the seemingly impossible.
It was the spring of 2005 that Lund University students Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt decided to collaborate to improve the concept of the bicycle helmet, so that adults would want to use them. There had just been an intense debate in Sweden over helmet legislation, which resulted in making them mandatory for children up to 16 years old.
It was clear from the social dialogue that while adult bicyclists did want to protect their heads, they were reluctant to use helmets.
The two young women began researching the reasons why people would not wear helmets. They got survey answers like, “It looks geeky,” “It gets too warm,” “It messes up my hair,” and “It should be invisible.” The last answer might sound unrealistic, but Anna Haupt explains that they reacted differently.
“We thought it was a brilliant idea. That was exactly what we wanted ourselves, because we weren’t using traditional bicycle helmets either,” she said.
The word “invisible” from the survey spawned their revolutionary idea: an airbag bicycle helmet.
Their project supervisor was a professor at the faculty of engineering at Lund University in southern Sweden.
“He was very impressed with the fact that our idea was so radically different from your usual idea of a bicycle helmet,” Haupt explains.