Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Car-Like Airbag for Personal Use

If only the protective features of an automotive airbag system could be adapted to personal use while skiing, automatically sensing when the skier is in danger and then deploying an airbag in critical areas.

By contrast, an avalanche airbag backpack has been demonstrated to provide protection only by making the skier bigger (so as to keep the skier on top of the avalanche debris via inverse segregation), plus it must be manually activated by the wearer (or by a guide with a remote control trigger as with the ABS brand system).

But now behold the "invisible" bike helmet:

Yes, instead of paying as little as $30 for a well-ventilated helmet that weighs only several ounces, you can pay ~$600 and wear a collar around your neck that together with its cover weighs almost two pounds.  Plus it has to be replaced after every deployment.  (Although at least you get a bit of a discount off the original $600 price.)

As a practical application for biking, this is clearly a disaster, except for fashion-conscious (?) bikers who somehow think an expensive and heavy neck collar is preferable to a light well-ventilated helmet.

But this product demonstrates that automobile-level motion detectors and automated protective airbag deployment can be adapted to personal use, and at a fairly trivial weight penalty.

Stay tuned for future applications...?

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