I know this is a bit off track, but as a parent, and someone who gets sick to the stomach every time I hear stories on the news, I wanted to share. The Nabi (expected to be available holiday season 2015) was demoed at the recent IDF15 (Intel Developer Forum).
What is it?
It’s a simple enough device (click the image for more details), that detects when the clip is locked, and it connects to your smart phone via bluetooth. If the clip is locked and you walk away (assuming you have your phone with you), your phone will start screaming at you.
I love it.
On one hand I LOVE this. It’s simple, expected to be relatively cheap (sub $50 bucks), and it’s the first good attempt at trying to solve the problems in this area.
As someone who works in automation, I’ve learned that the more “human” involvement you can remove from the equation, the more likely it is that your system will actually work. So I have two issues:
The user has to buy it. Sure it will be relatively inexpensive, but the responsibility is on the human instead of the system. And although millions will probably buy this thing, twice as many millions probably wont. And I tend to think that those who have the forethought to buy a device like this, are also those that are actually less likely to leave their child in the car. Note: That last sentence is my opinion and not based on scientific research, although there may be some out there.
It connects to your phone, via bluetooth. While this is a great primary device to connect to, how many times have you left your phone in the car? Or have you ever disabled bluetooth to conserve battery? I’m not 100% sure how, or if the device handles these use cases (product details are pretty slim right now), but I still don’t like that it is ONLY connecting to a smart phone.
Make it a part of the “system”
Buying a device like this is OPTIONAL. As awesome as it is, not everyone will buy it. However, buying a car seat is a different story. Required by law in most, if not all states for children within a certain criteria. I think it would be a whole lot better if the manufactures of the Nabi, could work with the car seat manufactures and make this the standard clip. of course there would still be the “old” car seats out in the world, so the “direct to consumer” product would be needed for a while, but those will phase out over time.
Second, connecting to a device like your phone is nice, but if you watch the new, most of these stories involve a stranger who just happened to see the child in the car and smashes the window. As almost all cars today are coming standard with built in bluetooth and/or wifi, I think it would be much more effective to connect the car seat directly to the car and have a much more conspicuous alert to the environment instead of just a chime on your phone. You also avoid the issues of accidentally leaving your phone in the car or disabling the bluetooth. And the people passing by would be alerted to the problem much quicker while the child is still in good health.
I don’t mean to dog on the Nabi. I love the idea, I love the people who are spending time developing solutions like this! The number of children who die from this problem is less than 100 ever year, which seems small in comparison to a lot of other things in the world. But any number greater than 0 (ZERO) is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE if you ask me!
So thank you Intel, Nabi, and Marcie Miller (creator) for all your hard work!