Images credit Hovdig
We were so intrigued by the Hövding airbag bike helmet that we covered it twice, here and here. While we might have been a bit dubious about a $500 one-shot helmet designed to prevent helmet head, the judges at INDEX, the world's biggest design prize, were not; they just the top prize in the PLAY category, 100,000 euros. ( 142 540 U.S. dollars).
According to the judges:
For most people, bicycling isn't a sport. They're just using their bicycles to get from A to B, bicycling to work, into town or to go out in the evening. Despite this, almost all the traditional bicycle helmets on the global market have a sporty design. At the same time, image is becoming increasingly important to us and our clothes and accessories are an essential part of the way we express ourselves.
Lots of people are deciding not to wear bicycle helmets because they think they look horrible and because they really don't go with their own personal style. The fact that people are choosing not to wear bicycle helmets when we all know how important the protection they provide is, was a clear sign that the design needed a radical makeover, adapting it to the demands of today's bicyclists and all the latest styles. A helmet that just sits on the shelf is no good to anyone", say inventors of Hövding, Anna and Terese.
The INDEX: Jury says: "We see this as a first step in fueling a paradigm change in the area of bike safety. It hinges on the professional competency of the designers, not the adaptive capability of the users, other than in the most superficial sense. This illustrates how design still provides users with what they never thought they could have."
Congratulations to Anna and Terese. A lot of people have become comfortable wearing inflatable life jackets when they wouldn't wear full conventional jackets; perhaps these helmets will work the same way, becoming second nature for people who wouldn't wear conventional ones.