• ETC
  • Jul 24, 2013
Parents have a problem and Tomy knows what it is: Babies are super hard to keep track of. Why, we can't count the number of times that we've secured some feisty ankle-biter in his car seat, only to turn around a minute later and find he's jumped the rig.

Actually, that's never happened to us. But if Tomy's new smartphone-linked child seat is any indication, it's just the sort of disaster that is perplexing moms and dads nationwide.

Linking its new True Fit IAlert car seat to a smartphone app (available for iPhone and Android devices), Tomy hopes to give parents more information than ever about what baby is up to there in the backseat (or front, we guess). Using their phone as a sort of level, parents can use the app to make sure that the seat is aligned to the recommended angle. After installation, the app basically works by sending alerts to a parent or caregiver's phone if certain conditions are triggered: the child moves out of the seat while the car is in motion, a child is left in the seat when the car is stopped, the seat buckle has not been secured, etc. The app will even tell you the temperature of the backseat, so as not to let Jr. get overheated.

Granted, a lot of the functionality of the IAlert seat and app could be replicated by, you know, turning your head... but who are we to criticize. Get a better idea of where the future of in-car baby safety is headed with the video and press release below.
Show full PR text

TOMY Revolutionizes Car Seat Safety With The First Smartphone-Synched Convertible Car Seat

The First Years® True Fit IAlert Car Seat Monitors Key Safety Areas: Child Out of Seat, Unattended Child, Installation Angle and Temperature Check

Now Available Exclusively on Amazon.com

OAK BROOK, Ill., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new car seat from TOMY International that will revolutionize the way parents and caregivers think about automobile safety for babies and toddlers is now available for consumers to purchase. TOMY's The First Years brand is producing the first mobile-synched car seat, featuring an integrated innovative monitoring system designed to alert parents of unsafe and potentially life-threatening situations. The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat (for use from 5 to 65 lbs.) monitors a child in the car seat and notifies parents or caregivers with an alert via their Smartphones if:

- A child moves out of the car seat while the vehicle is in motion
- A child is left in the car seat when the vehicle is not in motion

Additionally, the IAlert Smartphone App:

- Assists in achieving the recommended angle orientation for rear-facing installation
- Reminds caregivers to buckle up their child
- Displays the temperature in the back seat of the car

Each year, thousands of infants and children are killed or injured in motor vehicles, many of those fatalities as a result of an improperly installed car seat or a child who is improperly restrained while the vehicle is in motion. In addition, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children, with 33 fatalities in 2012 and many other illnesses occurring after children were unintentionally left in cars, according to KidsAndCars.org. Unfortunately, until now, parents and caregivers have only been aware of these life-threatening situations after a close call or tragedy has occurred.

"At TOMY, our mission is to help parents and caregivers keep kids safe by making innovative high quality products that are easy to use and install. To that end, the new The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat has built-in features and functions that take some of the guesswork out of using infant gear properly," says Greg Kilrea, President and Chief Executive Officer of TOMY International. "The advanced Smartphone-synched technology integrated into The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat helps provide parents with additional peace of mind, which is central to our Company mission. It is critically important to TOMY that we take a leadership position in advancing the overall safety of children in motor vehicles."

"All new parents need to learn how to keep their child safe in and around vehicles. KidsAndCars.org believes the solution to preventing tragedies is education along with technology in case the driver's memory fails," says Janette Fennell, President and Founder of KidsAndCars.org. "When parents follow our simple 'Look Before You Lock' program safety tips such as never leaving their child alone in the car and always opening the back door once they arrive at their destination, they are taking life-saving steps to protect their children."

The IAlert Convertible Car Seat application, produced in partnership with St. Louis, Mo.-based CARS-N-KIDS LLC, is compatible with iPhone and Android devices, and is currently available to consumers. Once the app has been installed and synched, the app provides an audio and a visual alert on the user's Smartphone when a monitored issue occurs, so that parents or caregivers can pull over to a safe location and check the situation. The system can also be configured to send a text message to other family members or caregivers in the event of an unsafe situation. The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat, which retails for $349.99, is now available exclusively on Amazon.com .

The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat – Description & Specifications
The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat is a revolutionary new car seat with an integrated monitoring system designed to alert parents of potentially life-threatening situations. Working in partnership with CARS-N-KIDS LLC out of St. Louis Mo., this patented technology, when integrated into the True Fit Convertible Car Seat, assists parents or caregivers via their Smartphones with the recommended angle orientation when installing in the rear facing position. In addition, it alerts them if their child moves out of their seat while the vehicle is in motion, if their child is left unattended in the car when the car is not in motion and constantly displays the ambient temperature in the back seat of the car, The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat is side-impact tested to international standards and offers all the standard features of the True Fit line, including the Rebound Energy Management system for rear-facing installation. Managing rebound energy helps reduce the chance for broken bones in the legs, hips and waist that can be significant in a violent crash. The True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat also features a new head rest designed to help manage head control, a no-rethread, easy-adjust harness, built in lock offs, color coded belt paths, LATCH, center angle indicator, cup holder and easy-off pads for convenient cleaning. For use rear-facing 5 to 35 lbs.; forward-facing 23-65 lbs. MSRP: $349.99, available now exclusively on Amazon.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Jeb Eldridge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well it's about time! A car seat that encourages the baby's patents to (illegally) use their smartphone and drive, all at the same time! Now that sounds smart!
      Peter_G
      • 1 Year Ago
      NASA spends a million dollars to develop a pen that can write in zero gravity. Russian on the other hand sends their pilots up with a pencil. This is the NASA pen to the Russian REAR VIEW MIRROR. If you are going to take your eyes off the road to look at a damn app, how is that any less dangerous than looking in the rear view mirror that came free with the car??
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      alfa pete
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perfect for those who drive decommissioned limousines.
      pheasant601
      • 1 Year Ago
      My little boy is only one year old and I'm convinced that if given the chance, he'd jump out of his seat. I get that part of it. But I'm having a hard time understanding why this is a big problem. Even more, why is this is a big enough problem to warrant an expensive gimmicky seat? I reserve the right to change my mind when my son is a little older, but this sounds really stupid.
      Bill
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its not stupid. This will find buyers. Just two weeks ago lady in my town forgot her kid and it died after 8 hrs in a hot SUV. My simpler solution would just be a seat sensor with a chime or buzzer that goes off when you turn the ignition off and the seat is still occupied.
      550PlusX5
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmmmm...... Baby squirming out of a car seat, or a soccer mom/dad crashing a big SUV/Minivan while fiddling with a iphone/android app that monitors whether the baby is squirming out of a car seat in traffic... Hmmmmmmmm... ...And you know when that happens, the parent is going to sue the car seat maker..Because obviously the product is defective... It didn't prevent the driver from being distracted....
      czwegers
      • 1 Year Ago
      So if your smart phone runs out of juice is your child possibly dead?
      BryanGx
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing will find buyers. Stupid? Yes. Unnecessary? Absolutely. But there are a lot of parents who are willing to pay any amount--ANY AMOUNT--to buy a product as long as the slogan on the box convinces them it's the best / safest / most modern / most innovative product on the market for their child. Rationality doesn't really factor into the equation.
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