There’s a definite niche for new tech when it comes to safety equipment, and though the industry as a whole has been in some sort of lull for the last couple of years, it’s finally starting to see some innovative movement. The self-hardening beanie helmet from Queensland, Australia’s Anti-Ordinary is one such development, blending a unique, knitted style with a purposeful design that’s sure to take safety equipment in an exciting new direction.
The beanie was created by two researchers from the Queensland University of Technology in an attempt to alleviate the bulky design elements utilized by traditional hard-shell helmets. Whenever an impact takes place, the beanie’s soft, malleable silhouette shifts to a hardened state thanks to non-Newtonian materials. And while this type of technology was previously used in safety equipment ranging from knee, elbow, and shin pads, the company is breaking new ground with a patented layering system that allows the beanie to exceed CE EN1077 and ASTM F 2040 alpine helmet standards, all while retaining the original, stylish, and comfortable structure. So far, the tech is specifically utilized by ski, cycle, and skate gear — but the team at Anti-Ordinary is working diligently toward a future in both medical and “at risk” applications. The innovative helmet is expected to hit shelves soon.