They say it is a bike helmet, but with all the features described below, it could be a great match for football and hockey players as well. Don’t you think?
Remember nFrontier , the product innovation studio founded by ex-BigRep executives? Founded in 2020, the startup spent the past two years creating partnerships with technology providers. They recently shared the prototype of a high-tech bike helmet. Named PYLO, the product would feature a face shield airbag, a smart 360-degree surround safety system, a 3D knitted inlay and a 3D printed nylon structure…in a nutshell, the team used a mix of technologies that converge digital high-tech, design and innovative manufacturing. And yes, it is the first product, the company shares since its founding.
According to nFrontier Chief Design Officer Beatrice Mueller, the helmet has been designed to meet “the needs of both urban commuters and athletes in mind, combining lightweight materials with a contemporary stylish design and cutting-edge technologies.”
According to the company, not only does the 3D knitted liner keep the helmet motionless, but it also provides the cyclist’ comfort. The surface properties can be knitted with a double layer on one side and wool on the other. From a user perspective, I am surprised to see that the helmet can fit every season as the liner can be worn on either side to keep the contract surface cooler or warmer.
From a manufacturing perspective, the nFrontier team used Keyshot to create all visualizations, Autodesk 3DSMax for the software part and the Stratasys F370 and J55 3D printers for the manufacture. Other technologies include the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology to ensure a 360-degree surround safety system. Thanks to this system, cyclists can be aware when there are any dangerous dead-angle situations or when vehicles approach with high-speed.
“To enhance bike rider safety, we see the urgent need for a technology transfer from the automotive, electronic and computer industries,” said said nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening, who took part in the design process. “Reducing the number of accidents is a key driver to bicycle utilisation as a means for sustainable mobility.”
Another feature that is worth laying emphasis on is the face shield airbag, designed for a bicycle helmet, that protects the jawbones, teeth and eyes. This means that if there is an accident, it blows up from the rear to provide rider face protection. Lastly, for increased safety in heavy traffic, the helmet is also equipped with LED head and rear lights and LED indicators, activated by double-tapping the left or right side of the helmet whilst riding the bike.
With all these partnerships announced over the past years, I was looking forward to seeing what would be nFrontier’s first “action on the ground”. This helmet is. Now what’s the next step? How would they proceed to commercialize it? There are so many questions that I hope they answer moving forward.
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