The Hövding “airbag for urban cyclists” can’t protect your hands or knees from the “road rash” common after a bike accident. It can’t prevent your bike from being damaged if hit by a car. And it can’t help you avoid a bicycle accident in the first place. But it can save your life and prevent serious, traumatic head injuries, and that’s a rather positive attribute. The Hövding system is housed in a collar that fits around a cyclists’s neck and looks more like a fashion accessory than a safety tool. It features accelerometers and a miniature computer that, when working in concert, can use a proprietary algorithm to determine if the movement detected indicates a sudden bike accident. If and when that happens, compressed helium gas rapidly inflates a hood that covers the wearer’s head and neck, leaving only part of the face exposed. The impact of the accident is absorbed by inflated pockets of ripstop nylon instead of by your head. So with Hövding, you have protection in those two or three seconds where it matters most, no helmet required during the other millions of seconds of cycling.