Volvo unveils inflatable child seat concept

April 14, 2014 | By | In Advice

Are you fed up with the hassle and lower back pain that goes with fitting and removing a child car seat? Volvo may have the answer with its new inflatable child seat concept.

Designed to both make life easier for parents, and be used in situations in which it simply isn’t practical to use a conventional child seat, the concept seat features an innovative pump, which operates silently and can fully inflate the chair in 40 seconds. Deflation is a similarly stress-free affair.

The seat’s designer, Lawrence Abele, said: “For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis. For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.”

"Any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing." – Volvo designer Lawrence Abele

Weighing in at less than five kilograms – around half the weight of a normal child car seat – the concept seat is made from a high-tech fabric.

“We used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat. This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes,” said Maria Hansson, Project Manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles.

Designed for younger children, the seat is rear-facing and suitable for transporting kids until at least their fourth birthday.

"Actually, it would be better for all of us to travel facing the rear but given how cars are designed nowadays it's not feasible. Young children, however, can and should travel facing the rear of the car as long as possible," continues Lawrence.

“The goal was to design a seat as safe, or safer, than anything on the market right now but second to that I want everyone, including kids to be exposed to great design every day."

The seat is also fitted with technologies not yet seen on child car seats, including Bluetooth connectivity that allows for remote inflation and deflation. Once deflated it can be folded into a small backpack for easy carrying.

Volvo hopes that the seat will increase child safety by making child seats easier to use and more mobile, allowing use in taxis and buses for example.

Click play above to see Volvo’s inflatable child seat concept in action.

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