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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Starfish Hopes to Prevent Children From Being Left Behind in Hot Cars

As reported by AL.com: A Birmingham tech startup, Studio Whale, says it has a solution to the horrific accident of hot car deaths among infants and toddlers that we've been hearing about so much this summer. 

A UAB enterprise software developer and new father, Mathew Brian Sheets, has developed an application in the interest of his infant son.

Meet Starfish.
   
Starfish is a small weight-sensor that fits into a child's car seat. The sensor links via Bluetooth to an application on your iPhone or Android device. Once you place your child into the car, Starfish sends you a notification that the child is in his or her car seat.

Once activated, Starfish sets up a "geo-fence" around itself with a 20 foot radius. If you leave (or your phone leaves) that geo-fence while your child is still in the car seat, you'll receive a notification alarming you of your deadly mistake. 

If you haven't responded to the notification within five minutes, Starfish will notify your list of emergency contacts. 

On their Kickstarter page, Studio Whale says that 85 percent of its design and engineering process is completed, with a working prototype, and a manufacturing partner ready to go.

They are looking for $15,000 in funding for their first production run. At the time of this publication, Starfish had just passed the $1,000 mark with 25 days left to go.

Of course, Starfish can only protect children left in the car unintentionally. Roughly 20 children have died since the beginning of 2014 due to hyperthermia (heat stroke).