Invisible Bicycle Helmet

There are a number of things I love about this innovation – the invisible bike helmet.

Yes, it is primarily about bikes and most certainly about creating positive and safe biking change.

However, it is a reinvention of the normal and breaking many (social and technical) barriers. Here are some reasons why this innovation is so special:

  • it is NOT from an English-speaking country (and not presented in English – how refreshing!)
  • it took the two inventors sooo long to get the research right (seven years!!)
  • their overall commitment, passion and teamwork is inspiring
  • and most importantly … the creators are two Swedish female Industrial Designers leading the (male dominated) field …. and kicking ass!!

How the hell…

I like the revolutionary and stylish innovation they have come up with.

It directly responds to current changes in urban biking as well as being understated and no fuss (the model only comes in black  – how Swedish chic!).

I’m still in awe of the engineering behind how it is deployed and works and I think the concept is magnificent.

The speed and responsiveness of the sensors and algorithms they have used are quite remarkable.

In Australia?

It is tempting to look into the legality of using one of these helmets in Australia.

I know you have to have a registered Australian Safety Approved helmet here. But let’s face it, in some respects Australia can be so far behind the times and considering this is a recognised international safety and protection device…. the larrikin bugger in me would love to use it and see what happens!

The company who is producing it Hovding, have them currently retailing for €299. They are up to their second model already and have won an European Patent Office Award (2016) patent. Models can come with stylish personalised covers. Sign me up!!

“Cars are so yesterday, bikes are the future.”

 

Bicycle Pram Sidecar (1951)

Thanks to MK for sending this 1-minute video to me.  It is a quick glimpse showing an ingenious British bicycle pram sidecar design from 1951.

I find this design actually very functional in practice as the pram has no further attachments needed and can be very quickly and effectively attached to a bike. Although the hazards of: car doors opening, getting around pedestrians, turning, safety and navigating shared pathways (let alone roads) these days would definitely be more of an issue than in 1951!!

Call me old-fashioned, but I like the design and ease of this sidecar in principle, although the design may not be as popular (or legal?) now due to safety reasons. Nowadays, this sidecar would probably be seen as risky, especially as most current designs now have the child/ren in front or behind the rider. (*All the better to see you with!*) It would also be interesting to see how this 1951 design might be used or changed due to contemporary bike lane (width) laws in Australia – or if that would even factor into the equation.

Given that these days, more and more young kids are being transported by bikes, I’ve noticed three main designs being used (not in order of popularity) –

1) a box attachment that is part of the actual bike design – like a Christiana bicycle.

2) a separate (bob) trailer attachment where there is room for one, two (or more? and dogs?) kids to sit which is pulled along behind the bike.

3) a seat attachment is usually in front (sometimes behind the rider) where the youngster is seated close to the rider.

 

 

I have been flabbergasted by the design and features of mobile child transportation. Consider the prevalence of bike prams and bugaboos, which can range widely from (not very modest these days) to soupped up mobile mountains of robust kids-and-crap-uber-transportation costing anything up to $1800  (or more) with which parents can comfortably complete a Parkrun. If this original Bicycle Pram Sidecar design was still legal, safe and available, I wonder how many families would use the bicycle pram sidecar given the logic and functionality of this sidecar device.