"Worlds smartest bicycle helmet" featuring 3D knitted liner unveiled in Germany

3D printing news

PYLO helmet

A high tech, safe and smart bike helmet prototype named PYLO has been premiered in Germany. The product will feature a face shield airbag, a smart 360 degree surround safety system, a 3D knitted inlay and a 3D printed nylon structure.

The company behind the helmet, nFrontier, believes itwill revolutionise the way we are riding our bikes in the future.

“Our vision was to develop an exciting next generation helmet that will advance bicycle rider safety technology into the 21stcentury. We wanted to create a previously unseen experience, converging different technologies, features and materials into one helmet,” said nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening, who also conceptualised the helmet.

nFrontier Chief Design Officer Beatrice Mueller added: “We designed our helmet with the needs of both urban commuters and athletes in mind, combining lightweight materials with a contemporary stylish design and cutting-edge technologies.”

A 3D knitted liner keeps the helmet in place to give an individual fit and offer comfort. The surface properties can be knitted with a double layer on one side and wool on the other.

Depending on the season, the liner can be worn on either side to keep the contact surface cooler or warmer. The 3D printed nylon structure is breathable and optimised in order to absorb deep impact at a higher level than conventional mass-market polystyrene helmets.

The 3D knitted liner also keeps ear phones safely in place, which can be connected to an active warning app alerting the cyclist of a dangerous situation before approaching it.


A standout feature of the PYLO is the face shield airbag, designed for a bicycle helmet, protecting the jawbones, teeth and eyes. In case of an accident, it blows up from the rear to provide rider face protection. A lot of current advanced bicycle airbags only prevent heavy upper head injuries, protecting the brain and skull.

“To enhance bike rider safety, we see the urgent need for a technology transfer from the automotive, electronic and computer industries,” said Buening. “Reducing the number of accidents is a key driver to bicycle utilisation as a means for sustainable mobility.”

As part of this aim, the PYLO designers developed a 360 degree surround safety system with light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. This resulted in an audio warning system alerting the cyclist of dangerous dead-angle situations or vehicles approaching with high-speed.

Using 3D immersive sound, the LIDAR will indicate the exact location or direction of a safety threat, by signalling a directional and clear overlay warning sound. This was opted for over visual and AR based systems.

For increased safety in heavy traffic, the helmet also features LED head and rear lights and LED indicators, activated by double-tapping the left or right side of the helmet whilst riding the bike.

nFrontier aim for its Emerging Technology Centre (EmTeCe to become one of Europe’s leading facilities of creatively applied emerging technologies in software and hardware. The EmTeCe is enabled by partnerships with technology companies such as 3D printing giant Stratasys, who recently acquired Covestro Additive Manufacturing.

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