During the brutally hot summer months, the interior of your car turns into an oven. As the temperature outside creeps closer to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside of a vehicle left in the sun can reach as high as 170 degrees. Tragically, according to the non-profit child safety group Kids and Cars, 38 children die each year in the U.S. from heat stroke due to being left in hot vehicles.
Certainly, parents need to be more attentive, but technology can play a role, too. Three new inventions -- The Hot Seat, Babeep and Precious Cargo app -- could help save children's lives by alerting parents if they've accidentally left their little ones behind. Here's a quick breakdown.
The Hot Seat
Credit: The Hot Seat
Created by New Mexico teen Alissa Chavez, The Hot Seat is a small pad that parents place under their child’s car seat and a proximity sensor attached to a key fob. If a parent gets more than 40 feet away from their child’s seat, an alarm in the pad will go off to alert bystanders. At the same time, the key fob alarm will notify the parent.
If parents don't have the key fob on them, an included app will also send an alert to their smartphones. Although she's a high school senior now, Chavez came up with The Hot Seat idea as an eight grader. Now, with patent in hand, Chavez is raising money for her invention on Indiegogo in the hope that she can save lives from unfortunate accidents.
ETA and tentative price: Availability not yet known; $100 Indiegogo donation
Babeep is a gadget that works exclusively with your car's power adapter, detecting when your car has been turned off. The device then signals you with lights and pre-recorded baby sounds to remind you that your child is in your car. Worried about your phone running out of juice? Babeep has equipped its device with a separate USB port, so you can still charge your phone while ensuring your child is safe. Like The Hot Seat, Babeep is also being funded on Indiegogo.
ETA and tentative price: February 2015; $35
Developed by a father of a 1 year old, the Precious Cargo app (Android and iOS) turns on when you connect your smartphone to your car via Bluetooth. When activated, the app asks if you have any precious cargo with you. When you turn your car off and its Bluetooth connection is terminated, the app will send an alert reminding you to grab your kid from the backseat.
ETA and tentative price: Available now; $0.99