If you’re a parent, your kids’ safety in the car has to be one of your top priorities. And while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that three out of four car seats are not installed correctly, even though properly installed car seats reduce a child’s chance of death in a car accident by 71 percent.
Robotic baby gear company 4moms announced at CES their newest product to make the process easier: a self-installing car seat.
The installation process is really simple: First, you place the 4moms app on a flat surface in the vehicle; your phone’s accelerometer and gyroscope then measure the angle of the road that the car is sitting on. That information is sent to the robotic car seat base via bluetooth, which then uses math to decide how it should auto level itself for perfect installation.
You then scan your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that’s inside the driver side door jam. The app shows you the best place in the car that the base should be installed, as well as how to connect the LATCH anchors to the seat. The app then verifies the connection to the LATCH anchors, and with a push of a button, the base does all the leveling and tensioning necessary to get it installed correctly. A small screen on the base keeps you apprised of the status.
After that, you place the infant carrier into the base, which then turns a constant monitoring system on — if there’s anything amiss, the app will alert you.
Installing the base only takes a few minutes, and after the first installation you just snap the seat in or out without redoing the process (and proper installation is confirmed on the base each time the seat is replaced).
4moms’ self-installing car seat is recommended for children who weigh four to thirty pounds and are 32 inches tall or less. The carrier is compatible with most strollers (a full list will be released soon). There’s also an eight position adjustable headrest and a five-point harness that can be adjusted as your child grows — the app even tells you when the baby outgrows the seat. The carrier passes NHTSA’s proposed side impact protection standard.
The car seat uses eight D cell batteries that 4moms says should last the entirety of one child’s use of the seat.
4moms’ self-installing car seat is available for pre-order in black, grey and tan for $499.99, and will be available in stores and online in June 2016. This is a really innovative idea that takes the guesswork out of a difficult, but essential, task.
[4mom's self-installing car seat via 4moms]