December 17, 2013 – You have to love how crowdfunding is inspiring and funding new inventions. One of these is Morpher, a folding bike helmet that makes it easy for cycling enthusiasts to have a helmet handy at all times that isn’t cumbersome. The U.K. inventor, Jeff Woolf, is an avid cyclist who has experienced just how effective helmets are when you get into a cycling accident. His research into bicycle-for-hire programs in cities around the world (we have the Bixi program here in Toronto) showed that 92% of those hiring a bike didn’t wear a helmet, that 84% of them felt they were putting their lives at risk as a result, and 83% weren’t carrying a helmet with them because of the lack of portability.
Hence Morpher, a helmet that weighs about 225 grams (8 ounces), folds to a width of 5 centimeters (2 inches) and is made from polycarbonate and composite materials that meet bicycle collision safety standards. The Indiegogo campaign which ends December 30, 2013, has already raised almost $54,000 U.S., well over the initial $35,000 goal. The money will be used to finish final tooling for production, materials and manufacturing.
Morpher has already won innovation awards at design and invention shows in the U.K. and Europe. Right now it is available in prototype but should be on the market by next June. The inventor has chosen Strategic Sports Ltd., to manufacture and distribute the helmet. Strategic has a long history in designing and producing sports gear. Right now it looks like Morpher will sell for around $100 U.S. which is a bit pricey but you can get in on the ground floor by pledging $149 U.S. to get two helmets (shipping is $10 to the U.S.) $300 gets you a 5-pack (shipping is $25 to the U.S.) If you are a retailer a $6,000 U.S. pledge will get you 100 helmets for resale (estimated retail value is $11,000 U.S.)
Not a stocking stuffer for this Christmas, it may very well be a choice of bicycle road warriors by Christmas 2014.