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The folding bike helmet that could improve bikeshare safety

Posting in Technology
 
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 Bike helmets offer a last line of defense in preventing head injuries when cyclists get into accidents.
So why is it common to see people riding down the street without a helmet even though there are two-ton cars and even larger trucks speeding past just a few feet away? One of the biggest reasons: Helmets are big, bulky and a burden to carry around.

The Morpher helmet aims to fix that problem. As Fast Company reports, the helmet is thin when folded up (just a couple inches), it's light (eight ounces), and  it's small enough to fit into a laptop bag. But it's not just for bike owners. The maker of the helmet envisions them as a solution to bikeshare programs, which are increasingly common in urban areas around the world. The issue is that bikeshare is aimed at non-bike owners or city tourists who might not have access to a helmet. According to Fast Company:
The size means the helmet could also go in vending machines for people to rent at bikesharing stations. "To put traditional helmets in a vending machine, you’d need an enormous machine to hold any decent number of helmets," Wolff says. "With Morpher, it can fit in a flat drawer in an ordinary vending machine. You put in a credit card, and out comes a shiny new helmet."
But before this product becomes a commercial reality, the startup is raising funds to pay for the necessary tests and manufacturing costs. It has already raised more than $50,000 on Indiegogo, surpassing its $35,000 goal.

Read more: Fast Company

Photo: Morpher

— By on December 16, 2013, 2:11 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure