Could a $30 Gadget Prevent Hot-Car Deaths?

A new gadget developed by two dads aims to help prevent parents from leaving babies in hot cars.

toddler in car seat
Photo: Shutterstock

Two Twin City dads are out to put an end to the tragic stories of babies left in hot cars. Both Christian Michael and Ryan Borovanksy admit they understand that sometimes it's very possible to leave a baby in the car. How could they not? The stories were all over the news this summer.

"One day I was watching the news and a child died in a car and I thought to myself, as many mistakenly do, 'Who in the world could do that?' But a year later, I had a little boy...and the same kind of story came on and I completely understood," Michael says.

That's why the pair of engineers decided to deveop bluetooth-powered car seat technology—linked to a smartphone and designed to alert parents when they have exited the car without their child.

So, how does ibabyseat work? It's a pretty simple, yet genius idea. A magnet is attached to the base of a car seat, which communicates with a sensor on the part of the seat that detaches. If you walk at least 30 feet away without unstrapping your baby, the sensor sets off an app on your smartphone that reminds you your baby is still in the car. Plus, there's a plan B: If a parent doesn't respond, the app automaticaly calls 911. GPS is included to pinpoint the child's location.

"Up to 38 children a year are left in cars and die," says Roger Roisen, chief technology officer at HSS Global, where the product was developed. "But with this technology, it being so low cost, it could be affordable for everybody."

The product is expected to cost about $30 and will be available in October at retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Babies R Us.

"We really wanted to come up with something that was affordable for most, and that could help prevent tragedies like this from happening," Borovansky says.

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