Cardboard helmet could improve bike-share safety

A new bike helmet constructed of cardboard could soon be making life safer for urban cyclists.

The Kranium helmet, a project first showcased last year by London-based designer Anirudha Rao, replaces the thick polystyrene of traditional bike helmets with a lightweight cardboard frame alternative.

Although the frame may not appear as strong as you'd like, Rao claims to have tested the design in the lab, where it was capable of absorbing four times the amount of energy of a regular cycling helmet.

The design is light and cheap, according to Rao, and is coated in a resin to prevent it disintegrating in the rain.

Unlike traditional helmets, the flexible design of the Kranium helmet means that each one can be tailor-made to fit a specific head, using a head scan, which should yield further safety benefits.

However, the most handy application could be when it comes to bike rental, a phenomenon that's quickly growing in popularity with new schemes popping up in cities all over the world.

Rao believes that one day it could be possible to get cheap custom-made helmets via a vending machine, encouraging infrequent or visiting users to stay safe when they're on the road.

The design has already been licensed by several manufacturers, according to reports, so it may not be long before they're seen on the road.

See the helmet at Wired