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In Brief

Foldable Cardboard 'EcoHelmet' Wins James Dyson Award's Top Prize

The EcoHelmet is a reusable, biodegradable and collapsible alternative to bulky helmets. (Image credit: Isis Shiffer)

The James Dyson Foundation announced today (Nov. 17) that Isis Shiffer is the 2016 International Winner of the James Dyson Award for her EcoHelmet design — a collapsible, biodegradable bike helmet that can be dispensed through vending machines at urban bike-share stations.

The contest awarded Shiffer $45,000, and provided an additional $7,500 to the university department where she studied design and engineering.

Sir James Dyson, inventor and founder of the award, praised the EcoHelmet for presenting a simple and "elegant" solution to the problem of providing cheap, accessible helmets to users of urban bike-share programs.

The EcoHelmet, which is made entirely of cardboard, is compact enough to fit in a laptop bag when folded. It cushions the wearer's head with honeycomb-patterned paper that absorbs and distributes impacts, protecting cyclists from injury.

"I look forward to seeing EcoHelmets used in bike shares across the world," Dyson said in a statement.

International runners-up include "Respia," an asthma management system that uses a wearable patch to monitor respiratory health and detect distress more quickly, and the "Smart Contact Lens Platform," which employs sensors embedded in a contact lens to track glucose levels for diabetics.

Read more about the EcoHelmet and other designs recognized by the James Dyson Foundation in 2016.

Original article on Live Science.