Like other stuff that is good for your health (not smoking, sobriety, living slow, and dying old), bike helmets are uncool. But you can’t really enjoy your coolness with a giant crack in your skull. How do you protect your noggin without sacrificing your mojo? Swedish company Hovding has the answer: airbag bike helmets.
Unless it’s called upon to perform, this helmet stays safely stowed in a futuristic-looking black collar that you can pretend is a scarf. (Hovding also offers printed shells that go around the collar, to make it even more chic.) But if you get hit, presto, it bursts open like a popcorn kernel:
(Fast-forward to 00:36 for the slow-motion version.)
Hovding’s been working on the Invisible Bike Helmet since 2005 — Grist even wrote about it years ago. At that time it only came in black and could only be purchased by Swedes, but now Hovding is preparing to launch the product in the United Kingdom. It’s possible to order it online, but be warned, you will pay a price not to wear a geeky helmet. And that price will be $560, before tax and shipping.