It's comparable to the inflatable cross country vests that eventers have been using in the recent years. The difference is in the deployment of the airbag, where cross country vests inflate when the rider becomes unseated and this "invisible helmet" detects an accident through sensors, which I find incredible. Could we possiblity be looking at the riding helmets of the future? I HOPE so! Watching the video demonstration I can't help but think about the neck support that all horseback riding helmets lack and that this invention provides.
Anyway, the weenie in me became a tad bit excited about this product and figured I would share.
To watch the demonstration click the link below then navigate to the top left of their websites homepage.
I saw this and had the same thought! I wonder about it being bulky around the neck, too, and hot in summer, but technology just keeps getting smaller and lighter. I also wondered about how sensitive the deployment is, I'd hate for it to inflate if I just leaned over too far. I'm really interested to see where this goes, though.
I saw this too. My question would be how hard is it to re-pack? Cars have to get repacked at the mechanic. And I think we as a sport fall off to regulalry for this. Plus the impact from falling off seems like its when you first hit the ground--which to me seems dissimilar from being hit by a car and then hitting the ground. But I am no engineer...I like the way my helmet feels.
Very cool concept. Don't know if it would work for riders. Looks motion activated so my first thought is how would it stay in place around the riders neck during movement such as trotting, cantering, jumping? Would such movement cause it to deploy prematurely.
Not for me - rather just wear a helmet than that thing!
Besides, just two weeks ago my horse stopped abruptly at a fence, pitching me forward, and I smashed my face on my horse's poll - The brim of my helmet cracked, and I got a bloody nose along with a blow to the head. But luckily my helmet took the brunt of the impact, rather than my forehead.
This "helmet" would be useless in a scenario like that.
LIke anything, there are strong pros and strong cons with this product ...
The technology is flat out amazing. USD port to recharge it at your computer when you take it off. Black box technology to analyze the data surrounding your fall. Incredible
The price point in Europe for this equates to USD $515.00. Add in shipping to North America, duties, taxes, distribution costs to retail outlets and a profit margin for the importer and I can easily see this unit selling in the $600.00 - $800.00 range
The worst part? Its a one time use only. Think of the airbags in your car - you cannot re-use them. This technology is the same. Once it deploys, you need to buy a brand new one. That is going to be a HUGE hurdle to overcome IMO no matter how wonderful the product is
Here is a Forbes article on this product and the pitfalls they see in it
Looks like an interesting invention for cycling, but I don't see it taking hold in the equestrian world. Not only because it has to absorb multiple impacts, but also because of the need to replace it after every fall. I have no problem replacing an equally expensive riding helmet after an impact on the head, but I'd have to replace that thing 5x as much for every fall when I land on my feet and my helmet/inflated neck brace is completely unharmed (but inflated and needing to be replaced immediately).
Plus it looks quite bulky around the neck! I'll take a normal helmet over that any day.
Well of course the exact invention wouldnt be conventional, but a spin off the product could be useful and deployed the same as a cross country vest. I was thinking of something along the lines of it being worn with a regular helmet and possibly extending down the back a little. What if the airbag technology could eventually make the product less bulky and it be an attachment to the back under part of a regular helmet. Or it be an add on to the inflatable cross country vests that already exists. I just think the possibilites are endless and the research behind this product is incredible.
Being such a wussy, any new form of body armor peaks my interest!