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smart bike helmet integrates 3D printed nylon shell and high-tech app-controlled features

pylo: ‘world’s smartest bicycle helmet’ by nfrontier

 

Berlin-based innovation studio nFrontier has premiered a new revolutionary new bike helmet prototype, PYLO, which combines the latest in digital, safety, design, and manufacturing technologies for the first time in bike helmet design. The helmet is designed with the needs of both urban commuters and athletes in mind, combining lightweight materials with a contemporary stylish design, and cutting-edge technologies. The 3D-printed nylon structure of the helmet shell is optimized to absorb deep impact at a much higher level than conventional mass-market polystyrene helmets. Altogether, PYLO integrates many industry-first features, including key automotive safety and driver assistance technologies, with an array of smart safety high-tech such as LIDAR radar sensors, 3D immersive sound, LED light indicators, a Face Shield Airbag, a Smart 360° Surround Safety System and a versatile 3D-knitted inlay. With these innovations, the proclaimed ‘world’s smartest bicycle helmet’ is set to revolutionize bicycle riding, making it safer, smarter and more high-tech than ever before.

 

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all images courtesy of nFrontier

 

 

innovative high-tech solutions revolutionize bike riding 

 

Developed and designed by German studio nFrontier, PYLO is currently being reviewed for market entry. ‘Our vision was to develop an exciting next generation helmet that will advance bicycle rider safety technology into the 21st century. We wanted to create a previously unseen experience — converging different technologies, features and materials into one helmet’, explains nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening, who also conceptualized the helmet.

 

For the first time in bicycle helmet design, a 3D-knitted inner liner is incorporated as a layer between the head and the 3D-printed nylon structure of the robust helmet shell. This keeps the helmet in place, guarantees an optimal, custom fit, and offers a maximum level of comfort. Knitted with a double layer offering cotton on one side, and wool on the other, the liner can be worn on either side depending on the season to keep the contact surface cooler or warmer. For extra protection and better visibility in bad weather, the helmet is also equipped with a visor and integrated LED lights. Moreover, PYLO’s most prominent feature is the world’s first Face Shield Airbag designed for a bicycle helmet, blowing up from the rear to protect not only the skull but also the lower face from injury – something that has been previously overlooked in typical helmet design.

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Perspective front view of the PYLO helmet

 

 

a safer, smarter, more high-tech cycling experience

 

 nFrontier also develops a 360° Surround Safety System with 3D immersive sound with LIDAR at its heart. This audio-based warning system provides higher levels of safety compared to visual- and AR-based systems, and alerts cyclists of the exact location and direction of dangerous dead-angle situations or approaching vehicles. Further enhancing safety in heavy urban traffic, the helmet also features LED head and rear lights and LED indicators, activated simply by double-tapping the left or right side of the helmet while riding the bike. Gyro sensors automatically detect riders’ manoeuvres to turn on brake lights.

 

All helmet features are controlled by the rider through an app, providing safety features like turning head lights on or off and connecting the wireless sound earphones. The 3D knitted inner liner also keep earphones safely in place which are connected to the active warning app alerting the cyclist of any incoming dangers.

 

In recent years, global bicycle markets have been surging, thanks to consumers’ demand for sustainable mobility and physical exercise, as well as cities deciding to ban cars and make downtown areas greener. Bike popularity has accelerated dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic due to anxiety over public transportation, firmly establishing the bike as an effective alternative both for last-mile connectivity and commuting. A growing product range including easy-to-handle, mid-priced bikes and hybrid, state-of-the-art (e-)bikes have accelerated this trend. However, with growing popularity, the number of accidents has climbed, too. “To enhance bike rider safety, we see the urgent need for a technology transfer from the automotive, electronic, and computer industries”, says Daniel Buening. “Reducing the number of accidents is a key driver to bicycle utilization as a means for sustainable mobility.”

the bike ride of the century pylo how the worlds smartest bicycle helmet will revolutionize bicycle riding face shield airbag 360 surround safety system 3d kn 4
side view including expanded face shield airbag

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rear view with braking light on

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explosion diagram showing helmet shell, 3D knitted inner and ear plugs

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helmet shell, visor and 3D knitted inner

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top view including LED lightning

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3D printed inner structure which is optimized for high impact forces

 

 

 

nFrontier is a ground-breaking, impact-driven innovation studio accelerating the development and launch of industrial products – making the process faster, more successful, more digital and sustainable. Fuelled by emerging technologies, and, crucially, using a proprietary A to L operating model, at the core of nFrontier operations is the nFrontier EmTeCe (Emerging Technology Center). Aiming at becoming one of Europe’s leading facilities of creatively applied Emerging Technologies in soft- and hardware, the EmTeCe is enabled by the expertise, high-tech equipment and infrastructure provided by technology partners such as Stratasys (Additive Manufacturing), Franka Emika (Tactile Robotics), Autodesk (soft-ware development), Vajo (VR/XR products), and KeyShot (3D rendering software).

 

The three founders of nFrontier have demonstrated their capabilities to predict global market trends and create products for industrial customers around the world, while managing BigRep, the Berlin-based manufacturer of the biggest (FDM) serial built large-format 3D-printers, developing the start-up into a global brand and innovation leader in additive manufacturing.

 

 

project info:

 

name: PYLO Helmet
designer: nFrontier

lead designer: Bea Müller

animation: Ivo Pek

prototype: Yomi Ajani

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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