Invisible helmet provides instant protection thanks to accelerometers
October 26, 2010Helmets have been in the news lately, what with the attention being given to the danger in NFL players getting violently hit. Conversely, some people simply don’t want to wear helmets at all either because of the added discomfort, or the lack of cool factor, or because they perceive the risk as minimal in something as mundane as, say, riding a bike.Thanks to the availability of low-cost, accurate MEMs accelerometers, Hovding, a startup company in the Netherlands is developing an “invisible” helmet that’s essentially a wearable airbag.
Lest you think that there’s no way the helmet can [safely] inflate quickly enough to provide protection after being struck by a car or simply falling from the bike, take a look at the crash test [yah, krocktest] video.
For those of you without youtube access, here are a couple of stills:
…and just after the helmet has deployed:
Here’s one where the dummy gets struck from the rear:
…and the helmet deploys before it strikes the hood.
The point isn’t that these are necessarily a better solution for bike riders than plain ol’ helmets, but that personal inflatable protection for applications is now practical for applications in patient care (saving the elderly from falls) transportation and more.
I look forward to attending the MEMs Congress in Phoenix next week and hearing about the state of the art in MEMs accelerometer design and products.