According to national statistics, an average of 38 children are killed every year in the United States from hyperthermia while trapped in a car. More than 15 deaths have been reported in 2013 alone. No one likes to admit that they might be careless enough to forget their child, even momentarily, but the parents of these unfortunate children come from all walks of life. The modern parent juggles a busy schedule including work, errands, daycare, etc. With an endless to-do list and inevitably too little sleep, it is all too easy to get distracted or go on auto-pilot. It could happen to anyone. Unfortunately, loss of life can occur in as little as ten minutes, even when outside temperatures are as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit. These caretakers are not bad people who do this intentionally; rather, they are busy people who fall victim to human error with tragic consequences.
The Baby-In-Car (B.I.C.) Alarm is a simple device that quickly alerts the driver of the vehicle that a child has been left behind. Without intricate temperature calculations and response systems that would require a great deal of infrastructure to implement, the B.I.C. alarm is a practical and affordable life-saving device.
A stylish mat, which is placed over the child seat, detects if a child has been placed in the seat. Upon this detection, the mat automatically links wirelessly with a fob on the car’s keychain. If the car seat is still transmitting that a child is present when the user leaves the vicinity of the car, an alarm in the key fob goes off, alerting the user that they have left a child behind. Some situations may arise where the child is left intentionally; for instance, if the parents are carpooling to work, and one adult is dropped off prior to another, who stays in the car with the child. In these cases, there is a mute button located on the key fob. A customizable fabric cover allows for easy washing and portability of the unit. The key fob is made out of three simple plastic parts, generating a price point low enough to make it affordable for anyone driving a car.
This simple, user-friendly device would be the only one of its kind on the market. Rather than a complex system requiring a great deal of manufactured integration, this is a casual accessory that requires little setup and simply acts as a fail-safe for those times when even the best caretakers suffer a lapse in awareness.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Scott Downen
Type of entry: individual
Software used for this entry:
IAR-Embedded Workbench, Solidworks, Eagle
Patent status: none