James Dyson Awards bear the name of a British inventor and industrialist who himself struggled to get his inventions recognized when he was young, so he decided to give a chance to all promising designers from around the world by founding this contest in 2007. Students or fresh graduates of study fields focused on design or mechanical engineering can enter their ideas solving a specific problem, and this year saw awards for a recyclable helmet made of paper plus two other cycling-related products.
Ecohelmet – helmet made of paper
With the words “sustainable”, “recyclable”, and “carbon footprint” currently peaking in popularity all over the world the number of bike rental companies is steadily growing. Along with every bike there should be also helmet available but passing a helmet among multiple users is hygienically problematic. At the same time, helmet reduces the risk of a fatal head injury in a crash by 85 per cent, according to some studies.
That’s why USA designer Isis Schiffer came up with a recyclable disposable helmet. Her Ecohelmet is made of waterproof paper with a honeycomb structure that has been proven to absorb shocks as effectively as traditionally used polystyrene, and can fit any head size thanks to its flexibility. Production cost is so low the helmet can be offered with a rented bicycle for a minimal price and recycled afterwards.
Lumos, helmet with blinkers
Ever wanted to let somebody know your road intentions on a bike more effectively than with a hand gesture? “Helmet is an absolute necessity for every ride. But besides protecting the head during a crash it has no additional functions; that’s why I’ve figured out the way to turn it into even more useful tool,” says the helmet designer Haraon Chen from Hong Kong. The helmet’s back is equipped with red brake light combined with blinking signalling, the sides have yellow turn signal diodes, and the front has yellow blinking light. The blinker buttons are installed on handlebars and are, of course, wireless. To put a cherry on top, the brake light is activated by accelerometer installed inside the helmet. No wonder that besides James Dyson Awards it also appeared among awarded innovations at Eurobike bike fair at Friedrichshafen. And the best news is you can even get your hands on it because it went into distribution.
Young Spanish designers have introduced their take on an affordable and effective cycling compass. They’ve based their design on two main assumptions: cycling navigations are still fairly pricey and using a mobile phone with Google maps in handlebar holder is not all that practical – most phones aren’t even rainproof. That’s when Haize comes in. This smart and simple design compass is connected to your phone and shows cyclist the direction he/she needs to follow.