The Big Bounce

February 27 2012

Canadian inventor Rejean Neron is looking for investors to finance the development, testing and eventual mass production of his revolutionary motorcycle safety product called the Safety Sphere.

The Montreal area entrepreneur has taken the idea of inflatable riding vests and neck collars to the next level by creating a full body air bag that envelopes a rider during a crash. The Safety Sphere is a full body riding suit that is tethered to a motorcycle’s seat and will automatically inflate within a half-second of the rider being thrown from the machine. Said to be made of an ultra-tough parachute like material, the Safety Sphere is meant to protect riders from the injuries sustained during an impact against the road, a roadside object or another vehicle.

Riding gear with built-in air bags aren’t exactly news. Inflatable vests designed to protect a rider’s vital organs during an accident are already readily available. Road racers too have begun to embrace the the inflationary technology by using racing suits that have inflatable collars, which protect them from the most common injuries sustained on the track. And several years ago, Honda introduced the first air bag equipped motorcycle designed to protect a rider during front end impacts. However, wrapping a rider in an inflatable orb is a major departure from anything that currently exists on the market.

Critics of the Safety Sphere, and its promotional video depicting a gloveless rider who appears to be speeding, have quickly surfaced. We’re sceptical too; the inflatable full body suit raises as many questions as it answers. Based on the video, the sphere appears to take a long time to inflate, and when it does, we wonder its effect on flailing limbs. Wouldn’t the force required to create such a large volume sphere in such a short amount of time break any wrists, arms or legs that might be in its way? More horrific for us is the thought of being caught in the bouncing sphere as it’s being battered about in heavy traffic like a ball on a foosball table.

What do you think about the Safety Sphere? Is it a fantastic idea that will revolutionize rider safety or is it just a crazy dream that will never see mass production? You can visit the current discussion on the subject in the Mojo Forum and let us know.

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