Events & News


Safety for epilepsy: helmet

Over the summer, we read about this new Swedish safety helmet and the article suggested that it might potentially be useful for persons with epilepsy.  So, of course, we contacted the company for more information.  

Since loss of consciousness or muscle tone can accompany a seizure the danger of suffering a blow to the head is very real.  The idea is that this helmet inflates when it senses that the person wearing it is falling and thereby protects the head from injury.  It is less bulky than a traditional hard helmet and in fact just looks like a scarf until it inflates.  A lot of work is still needed to make sure the product is useful and cost effective, but it is good to see technology and science taking steps to make the lives of people with epilepsy better.  Very recently, the company was awarded the Epilepsy Foundation Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence for the anticipated development of an Airbag Protection Helmet for People With Epilepsy. The SEAL came with a $25,000 prize to support research.

What is this airbag? 

Hövding-Airbag for Cyclists is a unique bicycle helmet; it complies with European safety requirements. Hövding is a collar, worn around the neck, which contains a folded airbag. The airbag, when inflated, is shaped like a hood; it surrounds and protects the bicyclist's head. The trigger mechanism is activated by sensors that detect the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.

The current Product is designed and tested only for bicycling. Developing a reusable helmet is a substantial challenge, as is the adaptation of the device for

persons with epilepsy. An early estimation is that $4M is needed to adapt the technology to the needs of people living with epilepsy.

How do you see your airbag helmet being useful for someone with epilepsy?  Would it inflate by sensing the person is falling?

The technology could be adapted for new areas of usage, one of them being epilepsy. Developing a head protection for patients with epilepsy would require modifications to the mathematical methods controlling the trigger mechanism, to make the airbag inflate by the sensors detecting that the person is falling. We would need to collect data on body movements from patients with epilepsy wearing Hövding in their everyday life and also collect data during seizures.

Is it re-usable once it has been inflated?

Hövding - Airbag for Cyclists is one use only. If your Hövding has been deployed in an accident, it can't be used again. Some insurance companies cover part of the expense of a new Hövding after you have had an accident.

What percentage of times might this device fail or inflate unnecessarily?

After being on the market for 1.5 years the number of 'false inflations' is close to nothing (less than a promille), and usually due to some sort of misuse. To our knowledge, the product has never failed to inflate in an accident.

In what direction is your research moving?  What is coming down the pipeline?

One obvious direction is to improve production efficiency and logistics, something that every production company continuously must work on. When it comes to product development we have many ideas, but all details regarding our research is confidential. You will have to wait and see... :)

Regarding upcoming plans, we are looking forward to launching the product in Japan in October this year. Very exciting!

Do you have an adult and child version?

Hövding - Airbag for Cyclists is for cyclists from age 15 and up. 

The function is based on data collected from cycling and re-enacted cycle accidents with adult cyclists and stunt men and women, which means we can't guarantee the function for children, because their movements might be different from those of adults cycling and in accidents.

Is the material "breathable" and cool or is it not recommended in summer?

The collar is made of waterproof and breathable functional fabric and the changeable shells come in different styles and fabrics, to go with different outfits and seasons. For use in summertime is might be nice to go for a larger collar size for a loose fit, that allows air to run through around the neck.

Do you have different colors?

You can change the look of your Hövding to match different outfits using the changeable shell. We currently have five shells to choose from in different styles and fabrics, see

How does someone purchase your product, website, do you sell internationally (ship to the US or South America) and how much is the cost?

Hövding - Airbag for Cyclists is available to buy in the company web shop,, from European countries, and in selected stores in Northern Europe. The retail price is €399 for a complete Hövding (collar+shell). The product currently has a European CE-marking, which means it can't be distributed outside Europe yet.

Anything else that you think might be useful information, please feel free to add.

Something that I really want to emphasize is the safety benefits regarding Hövding compared to traditional cycle helmets:

Better shock absorption
The airbag technology protects the head more effectively. Compared with ordinary cycle helmets, Hövding is in a class of its own, providing the best shock absorption in the world. 

Protects more of the cyclist's head
The airbag is designed like a hood and protects much more of the cyclist's head, neck, throat and face than ordinary cycle helmets, without restricting the field of vision.

Safety in multiple accidents
The airbag maintains constant pressure throughout the course of the accident, which means it can withstand multiple head impacts in the same accident.

You can find more information on our website:


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