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Smart Hat cycle helmet inventor to take idea to NSW government

Toby King also says potential investors have been in touch over backing his creation

Usually, articles about cycle helmets here on polarise opinion. Not so last week's piece on the Smart Hat, a conceptual design from Australia – most of you thought it was bonkers, and a few wondered whether April First had come round unusually quickly.

Undeterred, intrepid designer Toby King plans to take his invention to the New South Wales government, and he also says he has people interested in investing in his idea.

A quick recap. Cycle helmets are compulsory in Australia, but the Smart Hat, currently on the drawing board, is unlike any other.

To say it has bells and whistles is a supreme understatement.

It incorporates – we’ll take a deep breath here – brake lights, left and right indicators, rear view mirrors, proximity sensors, a camera, a visor, a housing for a smartphone, and space for a licence plate at the rear.

Oh, and windscreen wipers, among other things.

Earlier this month, Mr King presented his idea to councillors in Mosman, an upmarket suburb of Sydney.

Some councillors welcomed the design, but ultimately the council knocked it back because it could not endorse a commercial product, albeit one that is still at the design stage.

So Mr King, at the suggestion of Mosman Council, now plans to show his invention to Staysafe, the New South Wales state government’s committee on road safety.

Mr King says it will cost around A$500,000 (£250,000) to get his idea to the prototype stage, and claims the helmet may ultimately be available for A$200 (£100).

Whether, given the number of features he plans to pack into it, that is a realistic price is a moot point.

An article on the website of Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph adds that since news of the idea broke last week, he has had expressions of interest from potential sponsors and people wanting to endorse it.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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