Morpher: The World’s first fold flat cycle helmet

morpher-folding-helmet

The Morpher is a new innovation in portable cycling helmet technology. Would a bicycle helmet that you can fold flat persuade you to wear one? Inventor Jeff Woolf is hoping so: after having his life saved by his headgear after a hit and run accident 20 years ago, Jeff has developed a compact Morpher helmet that’s easy to carry around with you. With 9 out of 10 Londoners who hire Boris bikes choosing not to wear a helmet, the new innovation could prove to be a lifesaver.

The Morpher isn’t pocket-sized, but the flat-folding, portable design means it can be easily slipped inside a rucksack or handbag. Whether or not it makes it into production depends on the success of the project’s Indiegogo campaign, which kicks off at the start of November in the search for funding. However, the prototype has already won three innovation awards.

The helmet slips easily into a rucksack or laptop bag.
The helmet slips easily into a rucksack or laptop bag.

Jeffrey Woolf isn’t new to the invention game and has been named British Inventor of the Year twice. He has also been awarded an OBE for his services to innovation. Of the Morpher helmet, he says: “I have been aware of the increasingly large number of cyclists taking to the streets without helmets and, with my experience in inventing, I wanted to see if I could help to reverse this trend.”

“I am delighted to announce the launch of Morpher’s Indiegogo campaign, providing the opportunity for people to be involved in the creation of Morpher and to own one of the first folding helmets in the world. Morpher helmets will fold up small enough to fit into a work bag or typical laptop carrier. With more and more people riding every day, Morpher helmets will help to protect cyclists and save lives around the world.”

Inventor Jeff Woolf is looking to raise funds for production.
Inventor Jeff Woolf is looking to raise funds for production.

As on the similar crowd-funding site Kickstarter, you can commit different levels of cash to the project in return for different levels of reward. For a mere $20,000 you can get an all-expenses paid trip to China to see the helmet in production and get your hands on 25 of the helmets with your own custom-made graphics. Those with less money in their pockets can chip in for a far more reasonable $5.

The Morpher helmet is built from expanded polystyrene (EPS) with nylon hinges that help it to fold up. The headgear weighs in at 250g and has been developed with the cooperation of the British Standards Institution. For more news on the helmet, which is scheduled for a Spring 2014 release, visit the official website at or the @morpherhelmet Twitter account.

Tunebug Shake: Play music in your bike helmet

There’s nothing nicer than the open road and some seriously corny tunes to free the mind and relax the spirit, but bicyclists tend to miss out on this pleasure. They need to be constantly aware of the surrounding traffic, so headphones are not an option, and stick on bike speakers tend to provide tinny audio when you can hear them at all, over the sounds of street. TuneBug aims to counter this problem with a rather innovative device, the TuneBug Shake, a speaker which attaches to the bike helmet for surround sound indulgence.

It does this by utilizing Surface sound technology, which let sound waves pass through any surface it’s attached too, making any surface a workable speaker. The TuneBug Shake connect to your MP3 player or mobile via Bluetooth (or a 3.5mm jack, should one be needed) and has a battery life of 5 hours. It comes packaged with a special strap and mount harness so you can secure it to your helmet, and will mean you get to spend your ride immersed with the likes of Bon Jovi and Aerosmith (my personal favourite riding accompaniments).

Check out this video review from Functionality.net

The TuneBug has a rubber moulded grip and is water-resistant so should fit quite snugly on the head. I’m a bit concerned about the ‘resistant’ aspect however, as the UK is not well known for its beautiful weather and I’d like to think this device could hold up under the random torrential downpours we’re subjected to.

It also features a handy touch sensitive on/off switch as well as a volume control button, so you can easily tune in to the outside world. As it’s compatible with Bluetooth mobiles there would be potential for a future version that comes with an inline mic to allow you to make calls, but then you probably shouldn’t ride and chat, even if it’s hands free.

Find out more at http://www.tunebug.com/products/shake/