WAYZATA, Minn – Two Twin Cities fathers have launched new bluetooth-powered car seat technology engineered to alert parents who have accidentally left their child behind in a car.
Christian Michael and Ryan Borovanksy teamed up when they understood the risks a busy parent can face, creating a lifesaving device linked to a smartphone.
"One day I was watching the news and a child died in a car and I thought to myself as many mistakenly do, who in the world could do that? But a year later, I had a little boy on a blue blanket and the same kind of story came on and I completely understood," said Michael.
So Michael's idea merged a parent's love with the latest technology and the business, ibabyseat, was born.
"ibabyseat simply speaks to the technology we all carry with us and none of us ignore," said Michael.
First, ibabyseat begins with a magnet placed on a carseat base. It communicates with a sensor on the detachable seat.
Cortney Galster, of Woodbury, demonstrates the lifesaving connection with her four month old son Christopher. If she walks 30 to 40 feet away from the car without him, the sensor sets off an app through Bluetooth technology.
"It's telling me the baby is in the car and now I have to go back and get him," said Galster, looking at the phone.
The ibabyseat app can next alert emergency contacts and 911 if the parent doesn't respond. The Wayzata based engineers at HSS Global included GPS to pinpoint the child's location.
"Up to 38 children are left in a car each year and die, with this so low cost it could be affordable for everybody in the 30 dollar price range," said Roger Roisen, Chief Technology Officer at HSS Global in Wayzata, where the product was developed.
As a mother of two, Galster says the product fills a niche parents crave.
"I think it's great. I worry about it every day, and the peace of mind with all the stories in the news, you think, what if that happened to me? What would I do?" said Galster.
For the dads behind it, the hope is the tiny technology could change the course of life.
"We really wanted to come up with something that was affordable for most, and that could help prevent tragedies like this from happening," said Borovansky.
The product is expected to hit the market in October and will be in big box retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Babies R Us. It will retail for around $30.