A 2012 study done by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that an average of 38 small children die each year in the US alone, due to heatstroke after being left unattended inside a hot parked car. There are some systems to prevent this problem, but three engineering undergrads from Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University have come out with a unique solution.
Anshul Mehra, Yejin Kim and Jeffrey Kamei (seen in the above image from left to right) have turned the Microsoft Kinect into a safety system. It will utilize the Kinect’s ability to detect even the smallest movements, like those of a sleeping baby.
After more development the final product could be built into a car and would become active once the car is parked. If the temperature inside the vehicle rises above a limit with an occupant in it, the system could make sounds or notify the police or a service such as OnStar. And since the window glass blocks infrared light, the system will not detect movements outside the vehicle.
But, of course, if the parents are a bit more careful, they won’t have to rely on technology to look after their children. Yet, since some people are fond of learning things the very hard way, incorporating such a system into future cars could be the only way to save a lot of lives.