Designing a Paper Bike Helmet

Where's a bike helmet when you need one? A sustainable paper-based helmet could make it easier to ride safely.

 

While bike share programs have been wildly popular in many cities, a common  downside is that would-be bike renters typically don’t have a bike helmet at their disposal.

No worries. A New York inventor took on this challenge, creating a collapsible, paper-based helmet that recently won the 2016 International James Dyson Award for design. Called the EcoHelmet, the unit’s honeycomb design, likened to foldable decorations, makes it as solid as a traditional polycarbonate plastic helmet, says creator Isis Shiffer, in an interview with Business Insider.

What happens to the paper-based product if it starts to rain? EcoHelmet has a biodegradable coating that makes it resistant to sprinkles for up to three hours. It’s also recyclable, and Shiffer says that preliminary impact testing has revealed the design stands up reliably.

Shiffer was awarded more than $30,000 for winning the design contest, a bounty she plans to direct toward doing more refinements on her helmet innovation. Although there is no timeframe for helmet production just yet, Shiffer envisions a scenario where the helmet is sold in vending machines located near bike share stations for around $5 a pop. Pretty reasonable if you ask me.

If the durability claims are proven, EcoHelmet might just save a lot of spontaneous bikers from injury. What could be bad about that?

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