Jessica Dunn's Proteus folding helmet - Click above for high-res image gallery
Twenty-five-year-old Australian Jessica Dunn spent five months riding a motorcycle in Indonesia as a foreign exchange student, and that meant hauling a helmet around all that time. Weary of that grind after just 150 days, Dunn developed the Proteus folding helmet and it is now shortlisted for the James Dyson Award.
An outer layer of polycarbonate covers polystyrene foam, and the innermost layer is a material that's pliable during normal use but instantly hardens when it registers an impact. The helmet itself collapses in a manner reminiscent of a hardtop convertibles, the visor slides back on top while the sides and back fold into the helmet's interior cavity. The Proteus helmet has been engineered to meet Australian safety standards, and when folded fits into a standard backpack. Have a look at the gallery of high-res images for a better view, and if you think that's funky, you should check out Julien Bergignat's Tatou helmet.