For those that don’t want to sacrifice comfort or safety while riding the slopes this winter, there’s a new product. It comes in the form of a beanie that starts soft and flexible, but hardens on impact.
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Skiing and snowboarding are popular sporting activities but sliding down a mountain on flat objects strapped to our feet comes with certain risks. Even the best can take a tumble.
Estimates are that about one injury occurs per 500 skier visits, a drop of 50% since the mid-1970s. Better equipment has contributed to the decrease as foot bindings have evolved and helmets have become the norm.
But what if the beanie or wool hat on your head could double-up as a ski helmet? Wouldn’t that make life so much easier?
A new product created by three Australians aims to bring you the best of both worlds. They’ve developed a shape-shifting beanie that uses a proprietary blend of non-Newtonian materials, which feel rubbery soft but change state and harden instantaneously on impact. Once the impact has finished, the beanie goes back to soft and comfortable. Best of all, there are no electronics or mechanisms that make the material harden. It’s purely molecular level technology so works in an instant and without fail.
If you’re a bit skeptical, the trio will be testing and certifying the helmet to the global alpine helmet standards of EN1077 and ASTM F2040. They say they’ve patented a unique layering system that actually goes beyond alpine helmet standards, while still being extremely comfortable.
“We’d never build a helmet that isn’t safe,” Joseph told Digital Trends.
“We’re engineers and actions sports enthusiasts, and believe in being safe over everything. This helmet will pass the certifications required that the specific industry requires.”
The beanie comes with a soft, breathable liner to allow air to flow through so you don’t overheat. The outer layer is also fully washable. And because the whole thing is foldable, it’s much easier to pack in your bag than a regular hard helmet.
The beanie is designed to be used for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cycling and skating. The team is also working on versions for people likely to suffer falls due to medical reasons.
There will be a bit of a wait if you’re looking to get your hands on the beanie. ANTI Ordinary plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in January, which will be followed by mass production soon after. Pre-registration is already open.
Source: Digital Trends
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