Innovation That Matters

System could stop parents accidentally leaving their child in the car

Sport & Fitness

Starfish is a sensor-based system that's tackling car deaths by alerting drivers when they've left their baby behind.

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Parents typically do their best to look after their children, but one moment of neglect can lead to tragedy. The sheer number of news articles about infant deaths from being left inside hot cars reflects how commonplace such accidents can be. While devices such as the Sync Smartband enable moms and dads to keep their children within visual range and locate them if they get lost, a new system called Starfish is tackling car deaths by alerting drivers when they've left their baby behind.

Developed by Studio Whale, the system used a small GPS and weight-sensing device that can be placed underneath the child's car seat. The Starfish senses when the seat is in use and also tracks the location of the car and parents' smartphones. If the device detects the presence of a baby when drivers move away from their car, it sends an alert to their smartphone to remind them to take their baby with them. If they don't return to the car within 5 minutes, the device also triggers an alert for preset emergency contacts that details the last known location of the parent. Multiple Starfish sensors can be connected to the same smartphone, so large families can avoid a Home Alone-style scenario.

Watch the video below to learn more about the device:

According to the creators of Starfish, a U.S. child perishes from hot car incidents every 9 days, but the system could help parents to avoid such tragedy by keeping track of their child when their mind is elsewhere. Each device costs USD 60. Are there other ways technology can be used to help make parenting less stressful, or even save young lives?



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