High-tech in the pram
Emmaljunga introduced the prototype of its NXT90 E-stroller at Kind + Jugend 2018. - © Bosch/Emmaljunga
Electromobility is a future-oriented concept for vehicles of all kinds, so why not also for prams? Even autonomous driving is among the technologies being developed for prams.We inform you of the current state of technology and the latest features revolving around prams.
E-scooters became part of mobile life around a year ago. Now the E-strollers are coming! Principally, the electrified prams work like pedelecs: when moving uphill, the motors make pushing easier, while they assist braking and prevent uncontrolled rolling away when moving downhill.
The Swedish manufacturer Emmaljunga already introduced the prototype of its NXT90 E-stroller at Kind + Jugend 2018. Bluetooth module and sensor system originate from the car and E-bike supplier Bosch, as do the batteries, which have a capacity adequate for 15 kilometres, unless mama or papa use a lot of energy to charge their smartphones. Parents can activate an anti-theft device with an app and control the motor assistance. This means that they can really move along with the vehicle. Thanks to steering assistance, they always have a hand free, for siblings, coffee or smartphone. Delivery to the specialised trade should already have taken place, but has been delayed because of corona.
Competitors are also active: the e-PRIAM of the Chinese manufacturer Cybex , which has been distinguished with the German Design Award 2020, adapts its handling automatically to uneven ground like sand, gravel or cobblestones and is already available in stores. The French start-up Mobinov wants to launch a retrofit set onto the market under the name "Kiddyboost" that transforms "muscle-powered" prams into E-mobiles.
Mobinov's retrofit set "Kiddyboost" transforms "muscle-powered" prams into E-mobiles. - © Koelnmesse
A father jogs and the pram follows him autonomously. VW attracted attention with this video in 2015. Unfortunately, the autonomous baby carriage tzurned out to be an advertising gag. Farther along here is Weinvent Innovationlab . With its Smartbe model, the first autonomously driving pram is already at the starting blocks. Thanks to highly sensitive movement sensors and distance monitoring, the futuristically designed buggy moves completely autonomously, controlled by a smartphone app, in front of or behind parents and adapts its speed to theirs. It goes without saying that it also offers additional features like air conditioning, webcam, electronic adjustment of the optimal seating position, rocking function, theft protection and serves as a bottle warmer or powerbank. The Smartbe should cost 2,750 US dollars in the simplest version. However, despite repeat announcements, it is not yet available for purchase.
All just expensive toys – or new sales sources for baby outfitters? E-strollers ultimately cost several times more than conventional baby carriages. Experts anticipate a boost for the industry and a similar development as for other high-tech products: the prices will also drop with each manufacturer that launches E-prams on the market.
Until then, however, there are still all kinds of good alternatives for traders who want to score points with a diverse programme, and for parents who don't necessarily need absolutely new high-tech gadgets, but appreciate practical features. The innovative Power System from Heetee thus uses the energy generated from pushing to warm the seat, bottles or smartphones. In 2017, it was distinguished with the Innovation Award in the "World of Moving Kids" category for this. The Origami from 4moms works with a similar technology and offers additional lighting, a speedometer, a thermometer, an odometer and all kinds of storage space. It can also be automatically collapsed and unfolded with the push of a button. The Melio Carbon from Cybex seems ultralight: it weighs only six kilograms. The Sleepytroll has proven itself as a helper for bleary-eyed parents: when its sound and movement sensors recognise noises or movements, it rocks the baby gently to sleep.