A revolutionary baby seat that deploys a protective cocoon in collisions has been unveiled by a British firm.
The Carkoon is a rear-facing baby seat that features a sliding protective shell made from Kevlar and fireproof Nomex, which is capable of keeping a child safe for up to 18 minutes in the event of a blaze. The Carkoon also contains a transmitter that alerts emergency services with the exact GPS location of the child – giving vital extra information for any rescue effort.
Added to the design is a rotating base and “quick release” handle that saves messing about with seatbelts for rapid ejection. The cocoon shell is also highly resistant to collisions and will only deploy in extreme circumstances thanks to an embedded gyroscopic magnitude sensor that detects when a vehicle is tipped back or forward.
“Initially we tried to think of a way to create a car seat that got around the many ways cars seats are attached and create uniformity manufacturers could adhere to,” Carkoon’s inventor Jullian Preston-Powers told Yahoo! Cars. “We realised that adults are protected by airbags but babies don’t have any protection from the same technology.”
The Carkoon’s air shield does not come into contact with the baby in the event of a collision and also protects them from objects in the car that turn into potentially fatal projectiles at high speeds. Despite these added benefits, the original idea for the product was to protect a baby from flames and came about after a Sussex fireman told the Brighton-based Cool Technologies about an unsuccessful attempt to save a baby from a burning car.
“We thought to ourselves; what if there isn’t a firefighter there at all? There must be a way to protect the child from fire,” said Mr Preston-Powers. “Smoke is difficult thing to deal with as well but the car seat does cocoon around the child so it prevents smoke it seeping in.
“There is nothing like anything this on the market, it is a big game-changer,” he added. “Moving to the next generation was very easy, as car seats are all the same. They are getting cheaper, made of poor quality plastic so this will change things.”
The Carkoon is currently only works with cars fitted with the Isofix safety seat system, which was made mandatory in the UK on new cars from this year onwards. The model will be priced at around £499 and is expected to hit shelves by spring 2013.
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