Bicycle airbag backpack blows up womb-like head and neck protection
Taking inflatable head protection to the next level, French wearable airbag specialist In & Motion is developing a cycling backpack that adds serious coverage. The Stan pack works like other inflatable backpacks, helmets and vests, but it's aimed to give the everyday bike commuter more complete protection around the head, neck, chest and back. It's also designed to work seamlessly as a commuter backpack, carrying a laptop and other everyday work necessities.
In & Motion has been developing auto-activated airbag systems for various sporting endeavors since its inception in 2014. Its OEM airbag tech is used in third-party vests for sports like skiing and horseback riding. In fact, just this month, about 30 of its vests were worn by motorcycle competitors at the 2023 Dakar Rally, and the company says that the event saw its airbags inflate 45 times.
In & Motion's airbag deployment technology is built around what it calls the In&box, an electronic module that contains all the sensors and management hardware. The box runs analyses 1,000 times per second, using algorithmic logic to detect and anticipate falls and activate deployment.
The Stan represents In & Motion's move into cycling, designed for urban commuters on regular bicycles, ebikes and electric scooters. In & Motion is not the first company to propose a cycling-specific airbag backpack, but its pack provides fuller protection than the one that EVOC revealed in 2021. EVOC's Commute Pro Air 18 augments helmet coverage by inflating around the neck and shoulders, whereas the Stan pack incorporates head protection, along with neck, chest, abdomen and spine coverage. In & Motion's goal is to reduce the risk of head trauma by 80 percent compared to wearing a bike helmet as one's only protection.
In & Motion shows the Stan in use without a bike helmet, and its snug fit when inflated suggests it's being developed to replace a helmet, not supplement one. The company says the airbag deploys in under a tenth of a second once a fall is detected. Additionally, the pack pairs with a smartphone app to automatically contact emergency responders in the event of an airbag deployment and, if necessary, direct them to the user's GPS coordinates.
In & Motion believes its Stan design will prove an attractive alternative for urban commuters concerned about weight and style. The 18-L bag looks and works like any other commuter backpack and features a roll-top closure, daisy chain lash points, and dedicated space for daily essentials like a laptop and phone. As long as the airbag system isn't burdensomely heavy, the Stan pack should pique the interest of those who don't want to carry a regular pack and wear a separate piece of safety gear like an airbag vest or jacket, especially if it's effective enough to replace a helmet.
In & Motion began heavily promoting the Stan in late 2022 and is still testing and developing the design, with plans to launch in the future. It has not yet announced any development partners, so it's not clear if it will sell the Stan pack directly or offer the technology to third-party gear manufacturers, the way it does in other segments. As such, pricing information is not yet available.
Source: In & Motion