ST. LOUIS, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Driver's Little Helper, a revolutionary new stand-alone smartphone-enabled car seat system, will monitor and alert parents and caregivers if a child leaves the car seat, if the temperature inside the car gets too hot or cold, or if a child is left in the seat for several minutes after the vehicle has stopped moving.
Available for iPhone and Android devices, the app communicates with a sensor inside the car seat to send the phone alerts. If the driver doesn't respond to the alerts, the system can be configured to send messages to other designated contacts. Driver's Little Helper, which retails for $79.99, can be used on any car seat and is available at www.DriversLittleHelper.com.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, children 14 and younger who were unrestrained accounted for nearly 170,000 car injuries, 1,100 of them fatalities. In addition, heatstroke is the number one cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths of children, and an additional 37 children die annually from being left in a car.
"Driver's Little Helper provides peace of mind to caregivers and parents when driving with children in a motor vehicle," said Bob Steffen, founder and CEO of St. Louis-based Cars-N-Kids, and developer of the product. "Research shows children become unrestrained, they overheat, and car accidents do happen. Without a system to monitor children in the backseat, these things will continue to happen. We wear bracelets and utilize apps that monitor the number of steps we take each day, how many calories we are ingesting, and how many hours of sleep we are getting. Driver's Little Helper is an app that will help ensure the safety of our children in the backseat."
Steffen, who worked in the auto industry, and his colleague, an automotive engineer, had developed an earlier prototype of the product named iAlert that came already installed on car seats manufactured by Tomy International in 2013. Tomy exited the children's product category in early 2014.
Steffen continued working on a stand-alone version that was affordable, technologically more advanced, and that could be used in any car seat. Driver's Little Helper operates on Bluetooth Low Energy, which allows it to run more efficiently with a longer battery life. In addition, customers can be notified of system updates through cell phone notifications.
"Our product is unique to the marketplace in that it helps parents by monitoring temperature, movement and arrival," Steffen said.
Driver's Little Helper is protected by a U.S. patent; multiple other patents are pending.
A unique facet in the development of the product is that Cars-N-Kids partnered with digital ad agency Moosylvania, also of St. Louis, to create not only the system's brand development, and app, but to coordinate product research, packaging, retail placement, sales and distribution of the product.
"Keeping children safe in and around vehicles has always, and will continue to be, a critical issue," said Nick Foppe, president and managing partner of equity partner Moosylvania. "Driver's Little Helper addresses the need for more safety features in the backseat of our cars. While car manufacturers have already addressed our safety as adults in the front seat with the dashboard beeps, what's going on the in the backseat of our cars is just as important."
The Driver's Little Helper is a sturdily-boxed kit that includes a pad that fits between the car seat molding and the fabric cover; the battery-powered monitor; a simple Let's Get Started instructional sheet which features Ryder, the Driver's Little Helper icon; as well as stickers for the child, and a storybook, titled Dino Ryder. Batteries are also included.
Drivers can download the app from the Apple App Store or Android Play Store or at www.DriversLittleHelper.com, remove the car seat's fabric cover and place the sensor in the center of the seat's plastic molding. The power pack attaches to the back or side of the car seat or booster. Once downloaded, the app connects with the system and drivers can begin receiving alerts.
For more information, please visit www.DriversLittleHelper.com.
SOURCE Driver's Little Helper