An airbag company came up with an innovative belt to protect the elderly

·1 min read

Helite, the airbag company mostly known for its work with making vehicles and motorcycles safer, is now targeting a different demographic with their airbags.

Hip’Safe is the first wearable airbag that protects the elderly from breaking their hips.

Its standard look is similar to a fanny pack and snaps around the person’s waist. It’s light and comfortable, allowing the wearer to continue about their everyday life with no interruption.

But within the belt, there is a complex system at work analyzing the wearer in motion with context.

That means the two airbags on either side of the belt will inflate within 0.08 seconds of detection of falling. Hip’Safe will automatically deploy the airbags if the wearer is falling at 200 milliseconds (0.2 seconds) and will be fully inflated at 280 milliseconds so that hips are fully protected before the person hits the ground.

The airbags themselves protect from the area above a person’s hips to the middle of their thighs, to ensure a comfortable landing. After impact, the airbags will stay strong for a couple of seconds, before slowly deflating.

The belt is battery-powered and can last up to seven days before needing to be recharged. The system is also incredibly easy to figure out: the belt will turn on when the person buckles themselves in and turns off when the belt is unbuckled.

According to a study, Hip’Safe reduces the impact of falling by 85% and has the potential to significantly reduce the number of hip fractures.

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