This Tech Could Prevent Kid Deaths in Hot Cars

kid in car lead ltp

Credit: BaBeep

During the brutally hot summer months, the interior of your car turns into an oven. As the temperature outside creeps closer to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside of a vehicle left in the sun can reach as high as 170 degrees. Tragically, according to the non-profit child safety group Kids and Cars, 38 children die each year in the U.S. from heat stroke due to being left in hot vehicles. 

Certainly, parents need to be more attentive, but technology can play a role, too. Three new inventions — The Hot Seat, Babeep and Precious Cargo app — could help save children’s lives by alerting parents if they’ve accidentally left their little ones behind. Here’s a quick breakdown.

The Hot Seat

Hot Seat

Credit: The Hot Seat

Created by New Mexico teen Alissa Chavez, The Hot Seat is a small pad that parents place under their child’s car seat and a proximity sensor attached to a key fob. If a parent gets more than 40 feet away from their child’s seat, an alarm in the pad will go off to alert bystanders. At the same time, the key fob alarm will notify the parent.

MORE: 15 Best iPhone Apps You’re Not Using

If parents don’t have the key fob on them, an included app will also send an alert to their smartphones. Although she’s a high school senior now, Chavez came up with The Hot Seat idea as an eight grader. Now, with patent in hand, Chavez is raising money for her invention on Indiegogo in the hope that she can save lives from unfortunate accidents.

ETA and tentative price: Availability not yet known; $100 Indiegogo donation

Babeep

screen shot 2014 07 24 at 3.49.14 pm 630x400

Babeep is a gadget that works exclusively with your car’s power adapter, detecting when your car has been turned off. The device then signals you with lights and pre-recorded baby sounds to remind you that your child is in your car. Worried about your phone running out of juice? Babeep has equipped its device with a separate USB port, so you can still charge your phone while ensuring your child is safe. Like The Hot Seat, Babeep is also being funded on Indiegogo.

ETA and tentative price: February 2015; $35

Precious Cargo

screen shot 2014 07 24 at 3.52.09 pm 239x400

Developed by a father of a 1 year old, the Precious Cargo app (Android and iOS) turns on when you connect your smartphone to your car via Bluetooth. When activated, the app asks if you have any precious cargo with you. When you turn your car off and its Bluetooth connection is terminated, the app will send an alert reminding you to grab your kid from the backseat.

ETA and tentative price: Available now; $0.99 


AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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