This $800 belt has airbags to protect your hips

Falls are an enormous problem for the elderly — and one company believes the solution is an $800 belt with airbags. Hip’Air from Helite looks like an overstuffed belt, only with sensors inside that can tell when you’re about to fall, allegedly within 0.2 seconds. Then, two airbags inflate right above your hips to absorb the impact.

It’s not surprising that a company that makes motorcycle airbag vests would believe that their technology will also work for other types of falls. Uninflated, the HipAir is surprisingly light and has a plastic buckle on the front; inside is an inflator and a sensor. Arrows tell you which way to wear the belt, and it beeps if you put it on the wrong way. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not invisible either,…

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