Like me, chances are you either get annoyed at cyclists weaving through traffic without a helmet, or you get nervous about using bike-hire schemes without access to some form of head protection.
Well, this year’s James Dyson Design Award winner, the “EcoHelmet,” plans to fix this with a bike helmet made entirely out of paper… Now before you question the strength of paper in protecting your noggin, Designer Isis Shiffer even admits that it’s going to be a “tough sell.”
How on Earth does paper protect your head from hitting the ground?
The magic comes from the structure of the helmet, as the paper is weaved into a unique cell structure that distributes any impact evenly around the head. Due to the amount of head coverage and radial nature of the cells, it will protect the cyclist from a head blow in any direction.
In fact, it’s equally as effective as a traditional polystyrene helmet! And don’t worry about soggy paper in the rain – a biodegradable coating (the same kind of wax that coats a disposable coffee cup) makes it resistant to rain for up to three hours.
Plus, thanks to the use of paper, each EcoHelmet is fully recyclable – the plan being that they are dropped into special disposal containers, to be remade into new ones with minimal waste. Material costs are so little, that each one could be sold for under $5 (just over £4).
What does the future hold for EcoHelmet?
Remember those little annoyances I talked about at the top? Well, they will be gone. If executed properly, this brings a new level of safety to Bike-share schemes the world over.
Imagine picking one up for work and receiving a helmet from the same payment terminal? There will literally be no excuse for people to be safer while cycling.
Plus, without sufficient ammunition to tell helmet-less cyclists off, my road rage will subside.
With any hope, expect these to crop up in the next 2-3 years.
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.