Installing a car seat? There’s an app for that!
Being a parent is tough enough, and keeping your children safe at all times is even tougher. With hopes of giving moms and dads everywhere one less thing to worry about, Pittsburgh-based startup 4moms has introduced a Self-Installing Car Seat.
The seat — which was on display at CES 2016 — aims to take some of the guesswork out of the often-frustrating installation. This is a pretty big deal, too, when you consider that four in five seats are improperly lodged inside cars. Making matters worse, there has never really been an easy to way to check.
The unit is designed for infants from four to 30 pounds, and employs a robot in the base of the seat for proper installation every time. Once the parent connects the carrier to the vehicle’s LATCH anchors, the base automatically levels, tightens the straps and then provides verification that it safe for child use. From there, it triggers a continuous monitoring system that will notify parents if anything is amiss, like a disconnected LATCH or loss of tension, as well as provide guidance on how to correct via a display on its side.
Although the seat works without its accompanying app, a smartphone will help streamline the process. By reading a vehicle’s identification number (VIN), the app can recommend the best position for the seat and where to find the LATCH anchors based on make and model of the car. It also enables the parent to ensure the car seat base is installed at the right level, even if parked on an incline.
To accomplish this, the Self-Installing Car Seat uses the phone’s internal accelerometer and gyroscope to calculate the incline. The app relays this information to the base, which then compensates for this measured slope when auto-leveling. As the 4moms crew explains, most of today’s premium car seats only have a gravity ball within the base, which require the parent to move their vehicle to level ground for a correct installation.
Additionally, the app utilizes the seat’s sensors to check on the baby’s growth in order to alert parents when the child is becoming too big for the carrier.
Sound like a must-have item for you and your young one? The $499 accessory will be available in June. Until then, you can check out their website here.