“World’s smartest bike helmet” with 3D knitted liner unveiled in Germany

A prototype of a high-tech, safe and intelligent bicycle helmet named PYLO has been created in Germany. The product will feature a face shield airbag, 360 degree intelligent surround security system, 3D knitted inlay and 3D printed nylon structure.

The company behind the helmet, nBorder, believes it will revolutionize the way we ride our bikes in the future.

“Our vision was to develop an exciting next generation helmet that will advance safety technology for cyclists in the 21st century. We wanted to create an experience like no other, converging different technologies, features and materials into one headset,” said nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening, who also conceptualized the headset.

Beatrice Mueller, Chief Design Officer of nFrontier, added: “We designed our helmet with the needs of urban commuters and athletes in mind, combining lightweight materials with sleek contemporary design and advanced technologies.

A 3D knit liner holds the helmet in place to provide an individual fit and optimal comfort. Surface properties can be knitted with a double layer on one side and wool on the other.

Depending on the season, the liner can be worn on either side to keep the contact surface cooler or warmer. The 3D printed nylon structure is breathable and optimized to absorb deep shock at a higher level than conventional mass market polystyrene helmets.

The 3D knitted liner also holds headphones securely in place, which can be connected to an active warning app alerting the rider to a dangerous situation before approaching it.

A standout feature of the PYLO is the face airbag, designed for a bicycle helmet, protecting the jaws, teeth and eyes. In the event of an accident, it explodes from the rear to protect the pilot’s face. Many of today’s advanced bicycle airbags only prevent serious upper head injuries, protecting the brain and skull.

“To improve safety for cyclists, we see the urgent need for technology transfer from the automotive, electronics and computer industries,” Buening said. “Reducing the number of accidents is a key driver for the use of the bicycle as a means of sustainable mobility.”

As part of this goal, PYLO designers have developed a 360-degree surround security system with Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology. This resulted in an audio warning system alerting the rider to dangerous blind spot situations or approaching vehicles at high speed.

Using immersive 3D audio, LIDAR will indicate the exact location or direction of a security threat, signaling a clear, directional warning sound. This was preferred over visual and AR systems.

For added safety in traffic jams, the helmet is also equipped with front and rear LED lights and LED indicators, activated by double tapping the left or right side of the helmet while riding the bike.

nFrontier aims for its Emerging Technology Center (EmTeCe) to become one of Europe’s leading facilities for creatively applied emerging technologies in software and hardware. The EmTeCe is made possible by partnerships with technology companies such as the 3D printing giant Stratasyswhich recently acquired Covestro Additive Manufacturing.

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