How it works
Hövding is the world's first airbag for cyclists and is the result of intensive research since 2005. Through advanced sensors, Hövding can sense the cyclist's movement patterns and will react in case of an accident. The unique airbag will then inflate, fixate your neck and provide the world's best shock absorption.
The Airbag System
The airbag is designed like a hood and made in an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won't rip when scraped against the ground. Hövding protects nearly all of the head, while leaving the field of vision open.
The inflated airbag covers a much larger area than a traditional cycle helmet and is designed according to current accident statistics. The protection is greatest where it is needed most and the airbag provides extremely soft and gentle shock absorption. The pressure remains constant for several seconds, making it able to withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident. After that the airbag slowly starts to deflate.
The gas inflator that inflates the airbag is placed in a holder in the collar on the cyclist's back. Hövding's gas inflator is a so called cold gas inflator that uses helium.
Sensors and algorithm
How Hövding tells the difference between biking and accidents:
Thousands of cycling accidents were re-enacted using stunt riders and crash-test dummies to collect the specific movement patterns of cyclists in accidents. In parallel, an equal amount of normal cycling data has been collected using test cyclists wearing Hövding in everyday cycling. Based on this collected data, we have developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling from accidents.
Normal cycling means all the situations and movements that usually happen in a cycling context, bending down to pick up keys, etc.
In the highly unusual category of cycling accident where no measurable movement appears within the cyclist, i.e. if an object falls from above straight down on the cyclist's head, Hövding will not react.
To put on your Hövding, place it around your neck and pull the zip up under your chin. The zip needs to be completely closed for the collar to work correctly. There is an on/off switch on the zip tag that activates Hövding when it's attached to the right-hand side of the collar. Similarly, Hövding is turned off when you unclip the on/off button.
At the front of the collar there are LEDs showing the battery level and whether Hövding is on or off. On/off is also indicated by a sound signal.
Hövding's battery is easily charged through a computer using the USB cable included, when LEDs and a sound indicate that the battery is low (after about 9 hours of cycling).
You can also charge your Hövding using an ordinary mobile phone charger with a micro USB connector.
Collar & Shell
The collar is made of waterproof functional fabric that provides the best possible protection for the built-in airbag system. The collar isn't washable but is protected from wear, sweat and dirt by the surrounding fabric shell. Any marks on the collar can be rubbed off carefully with a damp cloth.
The collar is ergonomically designed with even weight distribution across the shoulders. It is slightly heavier at the back than at the front so that when cycling the weight is resting on your back.
The main purpose of the enclosing shell is to make it possible for you to change the appearance of your Hövding. The shell is easy to remove and wash, or change for a different one to match your outfit. Different shells are available to buy in our online shop.
After an accident
If your Hövding has been deployed we would like you to contact us.
Inside the collar there is a black box that records 10 seconds of data on the cyclist's movement patterns from an accident. In some cases the data from an accident is interesting and valuable to us in our on-going development work.
Some insurance companies cover part of the expense of a new Hövding after you have had an accident. Contact your insurance company to hear how they handle your case.
Hövding is CE marked after undergoing an extensive process for approval by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. CE marking is required for a cycle helmet to be able to be sold in Europe and certifies that the helmet complies with the requirements laid down in the EU Directive for personal protection equipment.
All types of helmets have to provide protection for the head in the form of shock absorption and force distribution in an accident. Complete protection in the event of an accident and functioning during normal use are basic criteria for CE marking. The helmet must also be designed so as to cause no unnecessary risks, i.e. there must be no sharp edges, etc. which could injure the wearer. The environmental tolerance criteria for helmets dictate that they must be able to withstand moisture and work in heat and cold and when subjected to the sun's ultraviolet light.