Wearing a helmet on a seriously hot day can make the rider uncomfortable, as the protective shield around the head offers very little ventilation. Even the ones which do have vents at the front and back, hardly offer much relief when the Sun’s beating down. But wearing one while riding a motorcycle should never be a choice. So a Bangalore-based techie has come up with an innovative solution. Called Vatanukul, it is a portable air conditioner that can be worn on the back and which blows cold or warm air into the helmet through a flexible pipe.
Sandeep Dahiya, the man behind this creation explains that for this device to work, one has to send the maker their helmets. It is then retrofitted with inner piping, which adds about 125 gm to the existing weight of your helmet. Once that is done, the outlet which pokes out at the back of the helmet is connected through a flex pipe to the wear-on unit, which includes a heat exchanger, a blower, a control unit and weighs 1,800 grams. There is no requirement for the rider to add water or ice and the unit functions as a typical air conditioner by replacing hot air with cold and vice-versa.
The apparatus can be controlled through a wired remote control which has a switch to make the unit blow either hot or cold air, depending on the conditions the rider faces. The powered unit draws energy from the bike’s battery and in the video, the maker suggests that the unit can drop the temperature inside the helmet by 10 – 12 degrees, compared to the ambient temperature. We aren’t sure if the unit can blow sub 20-degree air inside the helmet when the mercury shoots past 40, but we’d be glad if it can. Sandeep explains that the flex pipe does take away about 10 degrees from your ability to swivel and look behind, but that isn’t something which should bother a rider much if he knows how to use the mirrors well. An interesting innovation which does make a lot of sense for a country like India. We’ll tell you more once we are able to get more details about its cost, availability and effectiveness. If you wish to contact Sandeep, he runs ÄeeDEA, a one-stop which provides innovative solutions to bikers. Search and you will find it on facebook.