The Government of India is promoting a motorcycle helmet fitted with filters and a fan at the back, claiming that it can remove 80 per cent of pollutants. This move by the government comes a few months before winter, during which a thick smog blankets the capital of India, New Delhi.
A startup named Shellios Technolabs started working on the helmet in a basement in 2016. Amit Pathak, the founder of the startup, calls the helmet the world’s first of its kind, news agency Reuters reported.
Indian state agencies have paid large amounts of money to the startup. According to the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, the helmet offers “a breath of fresh air for bikers”, the Reuters report said. In 2021, 35 Indian states were listed among the 50 worst polluted cities in the world.
According to the report, Pathak believes that the helmet developed by his startup is likely to be popular in India because there is an annual demand of 30 million helmets in the country. However, Pathak did not reveal his production or sales figures.
The newly designed helmet is priced at 4,500 rupees, which is nearly four times the cost of a regular helmet. This means that several bikers in India will not be able to afford the helmet.
Also, the new helmet weighs more than existing devices. According to the report, the new helmet is 1.5 kilograms heavier than existing devices. This may make the wearer feel uncomfortable. Because of this, Shellios Technolabs has tied up with a big manufacturer to develop a lighter version of the helmet from a thermoplastic material, instead of fibreglass. In doing so, the cost of the helmet will come down.
The lighter and cheaper version of the helmet may come out within a few months, the report said.
According to Pathak, other countries who have shown interest in buying the helmet include Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.