The future of climbing helmets

The first article of my TRIZ for mountain sports equipment series deals with the evolution of climbing helmets. Looking at the Trends of Engineering Systems Evolution I find some nice ideas for features of future climbing helmets.

An obvious trend which has already been shown in the past is the reduction of density. This is usually realized with using foam materials or hollow areas. I think that this trend came near its end because the latest models of climbing helmets are so light you hardly feel them.

Perhaps there is another step behind using light materials, which is using air. Together with dynamization this would mean there are inflatable helmets which fit perfectly to anybody’s head.

However, designing inflatable helmets filled with air wouldn’t be the hardest thing, if there wasn’t the issue with stopping stones. A fully flexible helmet might need some special fabrics or fibres. In case a stone hits the helmet the material locally stiffens and stops the stone.

A very interesting idea comes from market development. Today, when your helmet is broken for some reason or was hitten by a stone, you have to buy a new one. With my helmet you buy a helmet service, so as soon as there is a reason for your helmet to be replaced, you get a new one in exchange with the damaged helmet.

One of the most interesting ideas comes from my dedication to the mountain rescue service. In cases there is an accident on a ski slope or with falling rocks and the head might be injured, it might be very helpful for the rescue service to see through the helmet directly on the patient’s head. This might be achieved with using colors and transparency, meaning the helmet gets transparent as soon as a certain impact has been applied or the helmet was damaged seriously.

I hope you find some ideas interesting. If not, just drop me a line.


2 Antworten auf “The future of climbing helmets”

    1. I wouldn’t say there’s something wrong with current helmets, I just took some minutes to think about what future helmets could look like. Another feature I forgot is the integration of headlamps into helmets.
      Since I (usually) climb a lot by myself and since I’m active in the mountain rescue team I have my own view on things. Especially in the MRT I get feedback throughout the year. I do not perform any sophisticated user interviews.
      This article originally comes from my attempt to apply TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) to fields of my interest.

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