AI-based Smart Helmets Detect Temperature to Contain Spread of COVID-19

Companies in the helmet market are exploring new business models after the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Smart helmets are gaining popularity in China among the police department in order to detect possible COVID-19 positive patients. Manufacturers in the China helmet market are boosting their production capabilities to develop nearly indestructible helmets that are equipped with smart features such as temperature detection and vehicle registration plate recognition.

Helmet manufacturers in China are innovating in helmets that deploy head-up display and these helmets are capable of reading body temperatures in real time. Thus, companies in the global market landscape are taking cues from Chinese helmet manufacturers to innovate in smart helmets. AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based cameras in these smart helmets are providing unique advantages in containing the spread of the coronavirus.

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Million Dollar Innovation Competitions Lead to Advancements in Sports Helmets

Design innovation programs by popular sports teams are creating incremental opportunities for companies in the helmet market. For instance, the National Football League (NFL) has sanctioned US$ 3 Mn for its NFL Helmet Challenge, which is encouraging development of helmets that outperform existing products based on laboratory testing. Hence, companies in the helmet market are increasing their R&D muscle to develop cutting-edge products that suit the purposes of sports players.

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New helmet designs are capable of withstanding twists and turns associated with sports. A UC Berkeley neurologist Robert Knight has introduced a new helmet design that prevents the incidence of brain injuries in sports players. Thus, helmet manufacturers should collaborate with researchers and neurologists to introduce new designs in helmets meant for football and hockey players. Apart from sports, manufacturers are aiming to develop helmets for multipurpose use, targeting the needs of police, soldiers, and snowboarders, among others.

Next-gen Motorcycle Helmets Integrated with 360 Degree Visibility and Bluetooth Features

Motorcycle championship winners are awarded several billion dollars as prize money in various competitions. Hence, companies in the helmet market are leveraging value-grab opportunities in the motor sports segment. For instance, CrossHelmet— a smart motorcycle helmet registered on the popular Kickstarter crowdfunding platform is equipped with sound control and 360 degree visibility for the rider. Thus, the introduction of innovative products is estimated to drive the helmet market, which is estimated to reach a value of US$ 34.2 Bn by 2030.

State-of-the-art technologies are bringing about a prominent change in the global market landscape with the introduction of head-up display in motorcycle helmets. Moreover, sound management and Bluetooth features are increasing the popularity of next-gen motorcycle helmets.

Demand for Approved Safety Helmets Rises Due to Fatal Road Accidents

The helmet market is expected to expand at a CAGR ~6% during the forecast period. China and India are one of the most dominant and fastest growing countries in the Asia Pacific region. As such, manufacturers in the helmet market are exploring revenue opportunities in Australia for broadening their business streams. However, adhering to the regulations of the Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) consortium has become crucial for helmet manufacturers. Hence, companies are gaining proficiency in extensive research activities that validate the effectiveness of safety helmets.

An alarming high rate of fatal road accidents in India is another key driver, which is triggering the demand for safety helmets. On the other hand, manufacturers are increasing awareness about the advantages of choosing the right color code for industrial helmets.

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Helmet Market: Overview

  • Helmets are hard and padded protective gear worn by individuals to protect the head and especially the human brain. Helmets are available in various designs, sizes, features, types, and technologies. This protective gear is usually worn by bikers, motorcycle riders, and sportspersons engaged in various sports such as snowsports, equestrian, hockey, mountaineering, climbing, and hiking. It is also used by industrial workers, soldiers, police, firefighters, etc.
  • Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest growing helmet markets across the globe. China and India are major helmet markets in the Asia Pacific region. Rapid increase in sales and production of two wheelers in China and India is projected to drive the bike and road bike helmets market in Asia Pacific. Industrialization, evolution in infrastructure development activities, implementation of strict rules and regulations related to road safety, and various other standards are anticipated to increase the overall sales of helmets in the near future. North America and Europe also hold a significant share of the helmet market.

Helmet Market: Trends

  • Lightweight helmets are preferred globally and are witnessing high demand. Lightweight materials are increasingly being used in manufacturing of helmets. Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd. (SBHT) launched carbon fiber-reinforced plastic helmets in India, which are stronger, lighter, more durable, and can tolerate high temperatures. Thus, consumers majorly prefer lightweight helmets.
  • Moreover, consumers purchasing helmets and other accessories online is a growing global trend. The U.S. is seeing a significant increase in the number of riders purchasing helmets online.

Helmet Market: Drivers, Opportunities, and Restraints

  • Rising participation in sports activities, biking, riding, and increasing construction activities in the last few years around the world, is fueling the demand for helmets due to increasing focus on safety and precaution. Rise in sales of Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology equipped helmets offers more safety to end users. Helmet liners and the little yellow MIPS sticker have become omnipresent. Since 2010, MIPS has developed exponentially with 60 helmet brands, around 300 models on the road, and around 5 million helmets sold. This factor is projected to boost the helmet market during the forecast period.
  • Rapid increase in demand for smart helmets from the high-net-worth population and sportspersons has created huge opportunity for helmet manufacturers worldwide. The smart helmet system is designed to be a solution for a motorbike rider who wishes to focus on awareness and safety while driving.
  • Various local and small-scale manufacturers are constantly involved in the production of helmets and other protection accessories at a much lower price than branded products, which is likely to hinder the expansion of the organized sector for helmets. Their major USP is the low cost, which is a restraint for the helmet market. However, quality and safety features of these products are inferior as compared to branded products.

Helmet Market: Competition Landscape

  • Competition in the global helmet market is very high. A large number of small- and large-scale players are present in the market. Companies are opting for various strategies to increase their market share including mergers & acquisitions, and product innovation and development.
  • Key players operating in the helmet market are
    • Arai Helmet
    • Bell Helmet
    • GIRO Sport Design
    • Headstrong
    • MT Helmets
    • SHOEI CO., LTD.
    • SMITH
    • Skis Rossignol
    • Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
    • STUDDS Accessories Ltd.
    • Troxel Helmets
    • uvex group.

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