This is one of those concept designs that I find horrific, yet I realize it is the target market's estimation that counts more than mine. And as a non-parent I am not the target market. Before I say any more to prejudice you, have a look at this thing:
Now as to why I find the concept repellent:
When the weather's nice in NYC, it's not uncommon to see a lone parent running with a stroller, particularly along the bike path bordering Battery Park City. Every time I see it I smile; I think it's awesome that the parent is getting their exercise and bringing their baby along for the experience, and I imagine one of that baby's earliest memories will be whizzing along the boardwalk with their mother or father pushing them.
And even if the baby isn't cognizant that they're being pushed, I can't help but feel that that pushing is the key part of the connection. The baby is propelled along by the parent who is physically connected to the stroller, and they both move together.
The idea that this would be accomplished via Bluetooth and a motor seems it would break the bond. Also, the notion that a parent would entrust the safety of their child to a bunch of wires and invisible waves seems crazy to me.
I do appreciate that this object would lessen the physical load on the parent. You only need to watch one lone mother struggle up a subway staircase while carrying a stroller to realize how demanding urban parenting is. However, and this is the most damning part to me, using a smartphone alarm to remind you not to wander too far from your baby is, I think, lessening the wrong load. I would think any responsible parent would have an internal, mental alarm for such a thing. Instead of staring down at your phone, oughtn't ones eyes be in the vicinity of one's baby at all times?
I'm curious for feedback from actual parents, particularly parents who exercise with their child in tow. Am I underestimating the physical demands you face, or overestimating the importance of the physical and spiritual connection?
The Smartbe Intelligent Stroller, as it's called, is up for funding on IndieGogo. At press time the $399 object had garnered $58,751 towards an $80,000 goal, with six days left to pledge.
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If you look at how those sideways e-skateboard things have jumped the shark this year, maybe this isn't too far off the zeitgeist. Also, I bet there are uber-wealthy people who would love to hoverboard behind one of these while taking selfies.
There are "intelligent" golf carts that can follow you around the course carrying your clubs. I've seen these carts follow the golfer into a sand dune where they get stuck, or tip over. It's a result of the user being to absent minded to switch off the follow function when they go into an area the cart cant follow. I can imagine plenty of scenarios where the absent minded parent gets caught out too.
Fraser, you nailed it with that last sentence! Totally hadn't thought of that.
Issues likes this are the exact reason that drives technology more and more complex.
I don't know about the emotional/physical bond... The major issue for me is the fact that it is probably vaporware.
totally agree. a more reasonable goal to bring this to market is more on the order of a couple million. The tooling alone for just a few of the parts would blow the goal out of the water, not to mention salaries etc.
What I can't figure out is what happens when you turn a corner? Say you are jogging along a sidewalk and get to an intersection where you turn right. The stroller is in front of you, so has no way to anticipate your turn. Does it just sail off into the intersection, and then stop because it has lost it's tether signal? Or does it quickly turn and attempt to overtake you to get in front again? The only way I can see it work is if you input a route into the stroller first, but that sadly would take the spontaneity out of the run.
Would like to see how it handles kerbs!
This seems like an investment scheme. Super flashy video, but I can't see any reasonable way that they're going to pack all those features into a stroller. Some of the other comments say it perfectly. A product that does everything they claim it will cannot be developed for $80k.
Interesting technology, I don't think it's thought thru enough. It doesn't seem to be mature enough as an idea yet.
Nay - as a parent this is crazy, keep your hands on the push chair/stroller at all times!
They have 8 models. With all the bells and whistles........$3200. Speechless. You can pledge $25 to get a baby bottle.
Tend to agree. Seems like we keep making more and more "intelligent" devices to make dumber individuals.
All excellent points. The more I think about it, the more this project kind of sounds like something somebody thought up in a bar. Or like someone trying to wantonly apply technology to life rather than starting with a problem and figuring out how to solve it.
Way off indeed. How will they use $80K? To develop something like this, $80k seems a very low-ball estimate.
Yeah $80k seems way low considering all of the tooling they will need to invest in.