Space-Age Technology May Help Save Lives of Children Riding in Car Seats - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/7/03

Space-Age Technology May Help Save Lives of Children Riding in Car Seats

Every year, we hear tragic stories about babies who die after being left in the back seat by someone who hurried off to work or some errand and forgot they were back there. Now, NASA engineers are coming to the rescue with a special car alarm.

It uses a sensor under the padding of the car seat that turns itself on when the child is in the seat, and off when the child is lifted out. But here is the key: NASA is using the same radio frequency technology it uses for aircraft to sense environmental changes to allow drivers to sense changes back in the car after they have gone.

The actual alarm hangs on the driver's key ring, and when there's a little body in that car seat, it beeps a little if the driver moves too far from the vehicle. It beeps a lot if the driver doesn't come back in one minute. The only way to turn the alarm off is to reset it at the car seat.

It's not available yet. NASA is still looking for a commercial partner in this deal, but researchers say they hope the device will be available soon for under $30. For more information, (click here) and click on news releases.

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