The Swedish company, Hövding, has won this years INDEX design award. The largest design prize in the world was awarded to the company for its “invisible collar helmet.” Designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin developed the product in response to research that found many cyclists would not wear helmets because they “look hideous [and] ruin your hair.” Whether a helmet should not be worn because it clashes with this Autumn’s latest fashion trends does seem slightly overboard. Regardless, the Hövding collar might prove to be the perfect solution to the fashion conscious.
The scarf like collar contains sensors that can detect an over-the-handlebars cycle accident, a rear impact, and if the rider falls off the bike sideways. In the event of an accident, a concealed airbag instantly inflates to protect the wearer before impact.
The INDEX panel described why they chose the design: “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.”