productsweekly wrap up

weekly wrap up + the invisible bicycle helmet

by Grace Bonney

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

This week I saw something on Facebook that almost literally blew my mind. Someone linked to a video called The Invisible Bicycle Helmet, and I immediately clicked to see if it was a gimmick. The video told the story of two amazing female designers, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who came up with an idea for a bike helmet that acts as a self-deploying air bag for your head. There are issues with cost and usability (once it’s deployed, you need a new one, and they’re not cheap), but the concept and the more than seven years’ worth of research that went into it are incredible. Please take a moment to watch the story of the product development above. The shots of the helmet deploying before a rider ever gets hurt or falls are pretty stunning. If something like this is ever developed for mass consumption (they’re available now for about $600), it will revolutionize the way we bike and hopefully the way we travel as a whole by encouraging more people to skip their cars and hop on their bikes. I’m always amazed when we get a chance to see how much great design can change the world for the better — moments like this really make me believe in this industry and all of the incredibly thoughtful — and innovative — people in it.

I’m signing off for the weekend. Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you all on Monday! xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:


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  • Actually, all kinds of cycling helmets should be replaced after a crash. In fact the manufacturers suggest replacing your helmet every 3-5 years. (this is what I get for marrying a crazy cyclist – all this slightly esoteric information about bikes, and I get to wake up early in the morning to watch the Tour de France online every year).

  • i can’t believe that people tell them that they didn’t think a girl could come up with something that technical! i can’t believe people are still thinking this way in the 21st century. truly awesome idea!

  • I couldn’t tell from the video… is it actually safter/more effective than the current style of helmets, or is it simply that you don’t have to wear a helmet on your head? If it’s safer, then I guess I could see more people getting into biking, or maybe to save their hairstyles (which I know in some fields is actually fairly significant… in terms of biking to work and so on). Otherwise… I’m not really clear on how this makes the world a better place. Just, a different style? I’m not trying to be a downer, I think I just missed something.

    • emily

      it’s a combination of both. it has the benefit of protecting a much wider area of head while taking up no head “real estate” while you’re biking (more comfortable)


  • this is awesome!!!! (four exclamation points, awesome.) i think the trick for future affordability would be requiring insurance for cycling. just like automobiles. i would be happy to have it. i think it would create a less hostile environment toward us cyclists, for one thing, if drivers felt like they have to pay more for their actions. but also, insurance would have to reimburse you for your bike or your awesome new helmet. if the accident was because you were being an a**hole cyclist. then your cost goes up. if the accident happens because you were being an a**hole driver then you pay for their bike and replacement helmet.

  • WOW. Completely amazing what these two innovators have come up with…it will allow me to get back on my bicycle again. Hope they come to the US real soon!!!

  • What a beautiful video! Love how they mentioned that someone once told them “get a rooster and there will be order” in reference to female management – and then, bam! segues into the wonderfully “impossible” invisible bike helmet shots.

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