Every year, children die because they are left behind in a hot car while their parent leaves to do something. Although everyone thinks “I would never do that,” it happens consistently around the world. Even so, it is a completely preventable tragedy.
An Italian startup called Filo wants to use smart devices to ensure that no child is ever trapped in a hot car again. The company recently showed off two devices, the Tata Pad and Tata Band, as part of CES 2021. Dubbed as “the first smart baby car seat alarm system,” Tata’s devices are the latest example of baby tech in a market that is growing quickly.
There were a number of baby tech products shown off at this year’s virtual CES event. Most of them focus on convenience or safety. However, few have the lifesaving potential of Filo’s.
The startup has two different versions of the Tata system to keep babies safe in the car. One, the Tata Band, is designed to wrap around the seatbelt. The Tata Pad, meanwhile, rests under the baby in the car seat. Both devices use a low-power Bluetooth 5.2 connection to sync with the parent’s smartphone once they get in the car.
From there, the process is simple. If the parent leaves the car without taking their baby, the Tata Pad or Band detects the lost Bluetooth connection and starts a threefold cascade of reminders.
After three minutes, the companion app sends an audible notification to the parent’s smartphone. Once four minutes have passed, a call is sent to the parent’s smartphone. If they still haven’t returned to get their baby after seven minutes, calls and messages are sent automatically to a list of emergency contacts.
This system ensures that a baby will be removed from a hot car before the situation can turn deadly.
For convenience, both Tata devices automatically connect to the parent’s smartphone via Bluetooth. The devices can also be shared by two people so that both parents can utilize them.
It’s worth noting that Filo’s Tata system isn’t perfect. For instance, if a parent also forgets their phone in the car, then the alert system wouldn’t be triggered. That being said, it is certainly better than nothing and could help save lives. Since most people are constantly attached to their smartphone, the system does work well.
The fact that Filo sold more than one million units in Italy alone in 2020 is a testament to that. Now, the startup aims to launch its Tata devices in the U.S. by the end of 2021. It’s worth noting that several states don’t allow anything to rest between a baby and its car seat. That will render the Tata Pad useless in those locations. However, the Tata Band is a perfect alternative (which is why Filo developed it).
Currently, both devices are sold for $60. Filo does plan to explore integrating its tech directly into car seats with their respective manufacturers. However, anyone that wants to take advantage of this tech anytime soon will need to purchase one of the standalone Tata devices.