Thorley Industries LLC has just unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show an extremely innovative product under their 4moms brand, a self-installing infant car seat.
What use could a self-installing car seat possible have? Well, having it set up and in place might take more than than a regular infant car seat, so that’s definitely not it. The answer converges from the fact that only 5% of parents install the car seats without making major mistakes. The 4moms self-installing car seat is here to correct that by letting parents know if and when each step of the setup process has been completed successfully.
“Mistakes are common because car seats can be complicated,” explained Benjamin Hoffman, MD, medical director of the Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and professor of pediatrics in the OHSU School of Medicine. “The manual for the car seat does explain all the recommendations, but they can be hard to understand, and many people may not read them for a variety of reasons.”
The seat invloves a lot of advanced sensors and robotics technology, since most of the steps are automatic. Basically, the seat auto-levels, auto-tensions and monitors its status at all times.
“We haven’t done anything that’s going to be as impactful as the car seat,” said Rob Daley, CEO and co-founder of 4moms. “We have developed a car seat that not only talks you through the installation process and verifies that the seat is installed correctly, it also continuously monitors the status of the seat. We’re solving a real problem, and giving parents peace of mind.”
All that parents need to do is connect the seat’s base to the backseats’ LATCH anchors. After this step is confirmed, the seat will proceed to leveling and tensioning itself, so that it ends up in an optimal position.
“The car seat is really just an extension of what we already do,” explained Daley. “When you think of the overall product line, the car seat is less of a departure than some of our other products. We need to perform at the moment of impact during a crash, and we meet all those requirements. What we’re doing that’s different is the installation process. At that moment of impact, we’re installed the correct way. With the stroller, there were over 200 new tests that we had to run because it’s self-opening and closing with a motor.”
4mom’s product even has a companion app that’s available for both iOS and Android, so that parents can customize the installation process. On top of that, the app will confirm the correct positioning of the car seat, fact that is particularly important when parking on an incline.
The manufacturer has spent many years to develop this product, and while the first version was unveiled three years ago at the ABC Kids Expo, the one unveiled now is ready to enter mass-production, to the joy of parents from all over the world.