This. This will change the cycling world. I’ve long been complaining about the poor helmet options out there, especially for ladies. It’s hard to find the correct size and most people don’t even wear them correctly. It’s just dump design, period, with crap decoration on top of it. As if ladies must be enticed to wear helmets that have been feminized with some girly version of the logo (looking at you, Bern) or some child-like floral pattern, it’s patronizing and insulting. Smacks of dudes designing for what they think all women want, without actually bothering to ask any of us. But the invisible bike helmet is not about vanity, it’s just a better solution to the whole problem. By designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, there’s 7+ years of research and funding that have gone into the project, which I hope will continue to grow. Right now it retails for $600 which isn’t exactly accessible and if it gets deployed then you need to buy new one (though I would imagine insurance would cover this cost), but fingers crossed this will change as word spreads. Seriously, watch the video if you haven’t already. It will take your breath away.
The first computer I ever used was an 80’s era Apple Macintosh Plus. I was six years old. When my Dad brought it home from his job at Control Data, I didn’t even know what a computer was. That day he picked my sister & I up from school and we talked about what makes a computer a computer in the back seat of his clunky Plymouth Horizon. “What’s a mouse?” I remember asking. Does it have a tail like a REAL mouse? In hindsight, naming such an important tool after a small furry woodland creature is a classic example of how user-friendly Apple has always been. I remember thinking this thing can’t be that intimidating if it’s named after a mouse.
I wrote papers on the Macintosh though high school. Sure it was as clunky as my Dad’s cars, but that thing trucked along for almost ten years. I went to college with one of Apple’s first laptops, a PowerBook 1400cs, a hand-me-down also courtesy of the Dad. It was a tank, so heavy it barely qualified as portable, and yielded maybe only a half an hour of battery life. I logged many hours of Snood on it before deciding that if I wanted to be a real designer I needed to upgrade. OSX was released shortly afterwards and the rest, as they say, is history.
But really there’s no better example of Apple’s spirit than their response to earthquake & tsunami in Japan earlier this year. In an act handed down straight from the higher-ups, the stores were kept open long after business hours, offering victims refuge and a place to make contact with their loved ones. They provided free food, clean water, shelter, and transport to staff and many customers for days after the disaster struck. I took that in with tears in my eyes, amazed at their sheer selflessness, acts almost unheard of for a large corporations today. Acts that would not have happened without Steve Jobs.
I’m holding all my Apple products a little tighter today as I think about Steve’s astonishing influence. Thank you for giving so many people a new way of seeing the world. That is a huge gift and I feel lucky to have it. I’m so sorry cancer dealt you its worst and I’m donating to the American Cancer Society in your name.