'Invisible' Bike Helmets from Hövding Rely on ST's Motion Sensors and Microcontrollers

State-of-the-art design and technology combine to make a difference in life

Geneva, Switzerland, and Malmö, Sweden - Motion sensors and microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, form the brain and senses of the airbag bicycle helmet invented by Hövding, a Swedish design house. The combination of innovative design and state-of-the-art electronics has produced market-unique safety equipment for cyclists in a novel form factor.

International studies show that bicycle helmets reduce injuries by at least 60%. Four in 10 people who die in cycling accidents would have survived had they been wearing a helmet. Despite these alarming statistics, the vast majority of cyclists do not wear helmets for different reasons: they find them bulky, impractical to carry around, or unflattering to wear 1.

The Hövding gear addresses both the safety and practical aspects of bicycle helmets. Unlike traditional skull shells, the 'invisible' helmet is a collar worn around the neck with an airbag folded inside. In an accident, ST's motion sensors pick up the abnormal movements of a cyclist and send a signal to the airbag, which inflates in a tenth of a second to form a hood that surrounds and protects nearly all of the cyclist's head and neck, while leaving the field of vision open.

The integrated sensors in the collar detect both linear and angular motion in all three dimensions and recognize complex movements of the user with outstanding precision and speed. To determine an accident condition, the sensor system uses sophisticated algorithms defined from a database of specific movement patterns recorded during hundreds of simulated-accident and normal cycling situations.

The electronics in the Hövding helmet are managed by an STM32 microcontroller - a powerful, flexible and reliable control chip that makes sure everything functions reliably and on a minimal energy budget. Among the industry's largest ARM Cortex M-based microcontroller families, ST's STM32 comprises more than 300 devices with many different memory configurations, an extensive set of peripherals, outstanding power consumption, and the industry's best development ecosystem.

"In life-saving applications, you should never compromise on the choice of underlying technology," said Anna Haupt, founder and inventor, Hövding. "ST's market-leading motion sensors and microcontrollers, with unbeatable performance and minimal power consumption were a perfect match to our exacting design needs. Encouraged by the successful cooperation, we are now exploring additional possibilities with ST for improvements in next-generation helmets."

"The Hövding helmet is an excellent example of how state-of-the-art design and technology combine to make a positive contribution to people's life," said Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics. "Hövding's decision to rely on our sensors and control chips confirms our industry leadership and enabling role in the development of innovative applications that put technologies in new contexts for the benefit of society."

The Hövding helmets conform to EU safety regulations (CE-marked) and can be bought in Europe through www.hovding.com

For further information on the Hövding helmets please see videos on www.hovding.com/en/film/

About Hövding

Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, Hövding is a nimble start-up company with unique design skills and R&D capabilities in manifold areas from mathematics to electrical engineering and airbag design. The company's flagship product is the Hövding invisible bicycle helmet.

Further information can be found at www.hovding.com

About STMicroelectronics

ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2011, the Company's net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.

Press Contacts


Anna Haupt

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Terese Alstin

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