Smartbe is the name of an intelligent stroller, intelligent in the way it deploys a motion tracking sensor system and follows the stroller’s parent or caregiver. The stroller can follow when the person walks, stops, steps backwards, or continues walking forward.
The Smartbe has three navigation modes. In self-propelled mode, as described, it synchronizes with your walk while keeping a safe distance. The other two modes are assist-propelled (you hold the handle but it helps you move around with no effort) and manual (no motors).
The team behind the stroller have gone to Indiegogo to bring their device to market.
To focus only on the self-moving aspect would be unfortunate because the interesting factor is really how feature- and function-packed this stroller is as a “smart” invention for carrying babies around on wheels.
Functions are controlled by an app, which works on Android or iOS phones and smartwatches. Want to deploy a lullaby for the baby? You’ve got it. An automatic canopy? No problem. Temperature-controlled bassinet? Sure. Bottle-warmer? Yes. An automatic rocking chair is yet another of its features. The stroller runs on battery power for about six hours.
A security system has been designed for the stroller, including anti-theft alarm and security lock. “Internal and external webcams allow parents to use the Smartbe App to monitor their baby, even if they are resting in the room next door,” said the team.
Also, “Only authorized persons like parents and nannies can unlock the wheels of the stroller, and the Smartbe App immediately alerts you when the stroller is moved,” according to Smartbe. The campaign page said that Smartbe fulfills US and European safety regulations.
Guillermo Morro, CEO and founder of Smartbe, heads a team of designers and engineers. “I know how uncomfortable it is to push an ordinary stroller through snow in Manhattan, up hills in San Francisco, or for a jog along the path through the heat and humidity of Miami,” he said in SFGate. “So, I set out to design a better stroller, one that combines all the greatest technology to give parents and babies a better experience.”
Comments in reaction to news on this stroller appeared to fall in pro and con camps—some saw no need for a stroller to push itself along and argued that if you cannot handle pushing your baby then why are you a parent; one person commented on feeling uncomfortable trusting a hands-off machine with a baby; one saw the concept as frivolous and wished technologists had better think about giving us a cure for cancer; and there were those who posed the royal snark, “what could possibly go wrong.”
Nonetheless, other remarks indicated an interest in a self-propelling stroller, making its way uphill or moving along while the parent is walking or running. The team described it as “an industry disrupting, electrically powered stroller with killer functionality.”
The company behind the stroller have turned to Indiegogo. A person who wants to get one of these can choose the look of the canvas—gray tweed, zebra, camo, or monochrome. There is a range of prices depending on features, and one has to study the comparison chart to understand what one is getting for the price.
They are offering an earlybird price of $399 for a basic model, which does not include the self-propelling feature and prices go up to over $3,000 with estimated delivery next year.
SFGate also talked about some of the safety features such as its ability to lock in place if there is a malfunction of some kind. In addition, “A tap on the handle bar will stop the stroller when in self-propelled mode. Also, if the stroller goes beyond hand distance, it will automatically slow down or stop.”