Inflatable life vests aren’t just for airline passengers anymore.
The Spidi Neck DPS is a safety vest for motorcycle riders equipped with a built-in airbag system designed to protect against serious spinal injuries.
Two airbags are installed into the collar of the vest and are attached to a small CO2 canister similar to those used by air guns. A tether connects the trigger for the canister to the motorcycle, and if a rider falls off it inflates the airbags within .2 seconds.
The bags fill the space between the rider’s shoulders and helmet to help hold their head in place they slide or roll along the ground, and stay inflated for several minutes. Spidi says this can dramatically reduce the types of spinal damage caused by a head snapping around wildly that can lead to serious injury, including paralysis or death.
The technology was originally developed for motorcycle racing suits, but was adapted to the vest, which can be adjusted to fit over almost any type of clothing, and includes crotch straps to help keep it in place. Unlike a car airbag, as long as its not damaged in a crash, after a deployment it can be repacked by its owner, loaded with a new CO2 charge and used again.
The Neck DPS is now available in the U.S. for $599, and is being demonstrated at the AIMExpo in Orlando this weekend.