EcoHelmet: this collapsible paper helmet just won a huge award


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/01/ecohelmet-this-collapsible-pa.html


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#2

I wonder if I could contribute to the project for a helmet, or if PayPal would decide that her name is too scary.


#3

Very cool. It’s always bothered me that bike shares don’t have helmets.


#4

Just look at it.


#5

Understatement.


#6

Well - at first I was like “better than nothing”, and then I was like, “Huh, it might just work.”

Though if I rode a bike a lot in a city, I’d just clip my helmet to my bag or belt.


#7

I like this idea. The low cost and recyclable nature of this suits an item which needs to be disposed and replaced after an impact. It’s too tempting for people to reuse more expensive helmets that have been dropped/ or impacted despite that being incredibly dangerous.

I’m in the paper packaging industry. I see no reason why this can’t be as protective as a traditional helmet with the proper engineering and testing.

Though if I rode a bike a lot in a city, I’d just clip my helmet to my bag or belt.

I used to do this when I used to ride my bike to class in college. It’s clunky and awkward.


#8

Yep. If it’s anywhere but on your head a bike helmet becomes pretty awkward. They are big enough get in the way and light enough to swing into everything, this is on top of the fact that bike helmets are designed to go on your head and basically nowhere else.


#9

Interesting thing though, which often gets left out of anything bike helmet-related:

Before we look at how much can we reduce the risk? consider is the risk big enough to devote much energy to reducing?

A number of studies have found that bike-share riders specifically have much lower rates of crashes and injuries than gen pop - essentially, riding a bike share bike bareheaded, already puts you at or below the head injury risk level of the general population of bike riders with helmets. Which itself is pretty much comparable to the risk level of walking.

So: if we’re going to encourage bike share riders to wear a helmet, when they were already as safe riding the bike as walking to and from the bike rack, we have to consider why we would logically single out the riding part of their journey - what’s the justification for taking the helmet off to walk?


#10

(The main hypothesis for the safer-bike-share-riders effect is I believe that the things are professionally maintained, low-speed city bikes, heavy clunkers, and only ridden on paved surfaces. Rattly-headset no-brakes deathtrap bikes are eliminated, road-bike speed demon riding is eliminated, mountain biking on rugged terrain is eliminated, BMX darting and leaping is eliminated. All they’re good for is a relaxed grannyish riding style.

Which makes you pretty much as safe as walking if not more so, even without a helmet)


#11

Well, if Dyson should sell it, they will go for $250 each so don’t get too eager.


#12

I’m in a heavily tourist town. People who rent bikes here usually don’t bother with helmets, yet they are least likely to be regular riders. This means they ride on sidewalks, don’t know local traffic patterns, ride the wrong way on streets, and generally don’t behave like people who ride a bike daily. They’re just out to ride a bike and have a good time, not obey the rules of the road for safe bicycling. I’d like to see bike shops with a bin of these things, and whenever you rent a bike or buy a new one (if you didn’t bring your own helmet), just hand it to the customer as they leave. Fold the cost into your rental fee if necessary.


#13

Yeah, I don’t know how bike rental from shops might differ from municipal bike share systems. The stats I was reading didn’t examine bike rentals.

I would think bike rentals might allow for both faster riding (you can rent road bikes) and more technically challenging off-road riding (you can rent mountain bikes). Most bike shares offer one kind of bike, and it’s one of those ‘Dutch style’ commuter machines, only heavier and more rugged, and usually without luxuries like a three-speed hub.


#14

I’d love to get my stinking mop one of those supersonic competition helmets


#15

Wow, this is brilliant.

Two questions I have.

Are the straps paper, and how are they attached to the honeycomb dome? That’s where I’d worry about a failure, i.e. paper ripping.

Also, what happens if they get wet? Is the paper waxy? Obviously still better a helmet in dry weather than none at all. Just curious.

Finally, one small criticism of all commercials for brilliant new ideas. Please. Get. Better. Music.


#16

I reckon something akin to a showercap could solve rain worries


#17

The crush test that matters is what energy is translated to the inside vs what energy is absorbed or redirected by the helmet. The shot of the person standing on the paper mesh is not reassuring in this regard. Showing that the helmet survived an impact is also not the same a showing that an object under the helmet survived.


#18

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