October 3, 2017

I want to make fun of the self-propelled baby stroller, but I can't.

It looks great:



Here's a poll, but please don't answer until you've watched the video:

If I could afford it and I had a baby...
 
pollcode.com free polls

IN THE COMMENTS: Kate said:
I can't make up my mind until I see it pass the Odessa Steps test.

86 comments:

Sebastian said...

Should we just take the plunge? Come on! It'll be great, because maybe for 10 or 20 or 30 years, we can embroil ourselves in litigation.

robinintn said...

It sounds like Donald Sutherland narrating. I love his voice.

Lance said...

Another solution in search of a problem.

Godot said...

Murphy's Law

Quaestor said...

Would be an interesting target for hacking, eh?

Kate said...

I can't make up my mind until I see it pass the Odessa Steps test.

Quaestor said...

I'll wager they've overlooked something. Urine-proofing the electronics, perhaps?

Freeman Hunt said...

Moms don't want to let go of the stroller. Especially when it's moving.

richlb said...

Say goodbye to your rugrat once Skynet becomes self-aware.

cubanbob said...

Its probably expensive so there's that but I can see the appeal.

Sydney Ski said...

Turns?

Oso Negro said...

The news stories can be written now.

Quaestor said...

I can't make up my mind until I see it pass the Odessa Steps test.

Brilliant! The Althouse commentariat is the best of the web. (I modestly include myself, natch.)

BTW. Do you remember that silly Kevin Costner flick, The Untouchables? He shameless ripped off Eisenstein and did it in slo-mo to boot. What a poltroon.

Wilbur said...

They've had smart golf carts similar to this for golfing walkers for several years now. People love them.

Quaestor said...

Furthermore, I'll wager this ad links to a crowdfunding page.

rhhardin said...

Vimeo has never played for me but I assume it's like teaching a dog to heel off leash.

chickelit said...

Needs a robotic breast pump?

Expat(ish) said...

The very first thing my very expensive golf cart did in "follow me" mode was fall into a stream when I crossed a small bridge.

Pass

-XC

NB - that was about 10 years into the development of "smart carts" so....

chickelit said...

rhhardin said...Vimeo has never played for me but I assume it's like teaching a dog to heel off leash.

It won't play on my 10 year-old laptop. Had to watch on my newer iPad. Sooner or later, you're going to miss something important.

Bob Boyd said...

Cool, but if the mom falls off a cliff will the stroller follow?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Sexist commercial. Why are the caregivers women. And not a tranny in sight.

I can't even.

sodal ye said...

Needs a #1 alarm and a #2 alarm.

Curious George said...

That's no mom. Nanny maybe.

traditionalguy said...

Well buy it. It has an iphone battery charger. Nice to see all that open flat space without humans crowding it.

Now make a Wheelchair Version and Medicare will pay for 10,000,000 free ones.

John Borell said...

Are none of you runners? My wife and I run a couple of half marathons a year and have a baby (now toddler). Pushing even the best jogging stroller for 8 miles (the limit the kid wants to ride through the park) is a pain in the ass (actually, arms and sides).

Not sure I'd actually buy this, but I get the market for it.

Paddy O said...

"Moms don't want to let go of the stroller"

This is why they needed to feature dads in the ad. That's the real market for this.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Imagine what ISIS will do with one of these. This is why we can't have nice things.

Ann Althouse said...

"Moms don't want to let go of the stroller. Especially when it's moving."

1. You can hold it if you want. You can do that with or without power assist.

2. I like the idea that when you're stopped to do something (like to talk to your friends or pick up after the dog or buy something at a stand), it stays with you and if you move, edges closer. It would stop someone from grabbing it and it would stop it from rolling away.

3. I see many women and men running with the kind of stroller that's supposed to be good for that. I think not having to hold the stroller could be really good for someone who wants to maintain good running form and be sure the stroller is right there. Consider what would happen if a runner with a normal stroller tripped and fell. The stroller might be pulled over or allowed to roll forward. With this thing, the stroller would stop and wait for you.

john said...

If we have to have another baby, forget it.

Pettifogger said...

So that's where "The Untouchables" director got the idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJpRSf4q-hI

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJinPA said...

"I see many women and men running with the kind of stroller that's supposed to be good for that...Consider what would happen if a runner with a normal stroller tripped and fell. The stroller might be pulled over or allowed to roll forward. With this thing, the stroller would stop and wait for you."

What if you hit a pothole or slide off a curb when doing this? I can see several benefits to the assisted mode and a few other features - for upper income folks who can afford it. (Which is not at all a bad market for a company.)

Most other parents are fining pushing themselves and adjusting the canopy as needed. If you have an infant, you're spending money left and right on gadgets, car seats, etc. This is cool, but not worth it.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

There was briefly an ad for an ad remover, apparently from google, until my ad remover remmoved it. The machines are taking over.

CJinPA said...

Price tag: $2,750

Like I said, it would be cool for the wealthy folks.

Quaestor said...

Costner's ripoff even has sailors getting shot and a distraught mommy silently mouthing MAAAAH BAAAAH BAAAAH!.

What's lower than poltroon? Ɯberpoltroon?

Quaestor said...

Price tag: $2,750

Let's form a corporation. We'll buy a few thousand and lease 'em! Rent-to-own. We'll call it UberPram.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

1) this is the golden age first world gadgets.
2) what if something goes wrong?

Bob Ellison said...

I want one for myself to ride, but my dog is not as good as that beautiful silhouette woman in the video (who by the way was pregnant and gave birth?).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hilarious.

I can't wait to see the video where people think she is chasing a runaway baby carriage and some good Samaritans helpfully intervene, tackle the carriage, overturn it in an effort to save the baby. Then the entitled, millennial princess mother becomes enraged and goes all screamingly offended at their interference.

Then the next time when the carriage really is out of control, because electronic shit WILL fail.....she can be offended because no one will help her save the baby.

What a stupid idea.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I'm at work, so all I can really do is skim the video. My impression is that this thing is still in Theranos territory; really just a big idea with nothing to back it up. Also note the CEO is trying really hard to put out a Jeff Bezos vibe.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Blogger Dust Bunny Queen said...

Then the next time when the carriage really is out of control, because electronic shit WILL fail.....

Better yet, what happens when the signals get screwed up between two of them and the stroller that follows her home has the wrong baby in it?

TheThinMan said...

This stroller is simply set to be always three feet in front of the jogger, no matter what else is three feet in front of the jogger: a sudden bump or dip in the road, oil on ice on the road, a person crossing the street, a bike or car speeding by... This thing is an accident waiting to happen. There needs to be at least a strap attached that you put around your wrist, like the traditional jogging strollers have.

BTW, of course the price is high at the beginning. A CD player used to be $5000. In two years this will be $299 at Walmart. Since we're only talking hypotheticals of having a baby and being a runner and being allowed to try this out for free, what's all this bitching about the price?

Bruce Hayden said...

Would I buy one to push my kid around in (if I had one that age)? No. But I might buy one for my kid to push a grandkid around in. That is what grandparents are for.

Except that the wheels look only useful on concrete and the like. When my kid was young, we had two strollers - one with big wheels for serious walking, and one with small ones for going to the mall. Initially didn't have the latter, but the former was just too much of a pain to put together and take apart, so relented.

Expat(ish) said...

@North - that "follow the wrong person" problem happened a lot in cycling when the first wireless shifters came out. Oddly the solution was ... a bluetooth pairing button.

-C

tcrosse said...

As long as the batteries aren't sourced from the place HoverBoard batteries were.

mockturtle said...

I loved the lawnmower segment.

Bitter Clinger said...

Sydney Ski spotted the fatal flaw. How does the stroller follow the turn in the jogging path if it is ahead of the runner? Answer: It doesn't. Such an amazing ability would surely have made it into the video.

BDNYC said...

What happens if the battery dies while you're running downhill?

Mountain Maven said...

1. It's probably heavy.
2. Baby will notice the disconnect.
3. Who trusts software? If Honda made it, perhaps.

rehajm said...

but my dog is not as good as that beautiful silhouette woman in the video (who by the way was pregnant and gave birth?)

Big cities are full of skinny ectomorph runner mommies.

How does it anticipate where you want to go when you're leading from behind?

iBaby 2.0 should integrate with your iWatch and iPhone

PB said...

It's unfair that some women will be able to afford a Smartbe and others won't. Having a Smartbe is a human right. Government must pay for this, for all.

Unknown said...

"Would be an interesting target for hacking, eh?"

No doubt. Also, as someone who has worked with self-driving and self-flying technology, when these things go into low battery mode they sometimes just take off and stop responding to input. This thing is going to be heavy and when it takes off into a body of water, a child could easily die. If it can keep up with you running, then it can go quite fast should it choose to and it likely can keep up the fast pace longer than you can.

Additionally, when you're out running, there are speed bumps and potholes etc. in the road not to mention curbs. Traffic, pedestrians, animals and obstacles also seem like serious issues. Basically, for the jogging mode it needs all of the self-driving car sensors and more in order to keep the child safe. This is dangerous.

The power assist mode seems quite reasonable and I can see why that would be a good feature to have. Some of the other features are just luxury, so that's fine. As a father of six, I'll tell you that a bottle warmer is the least useful feature ever on that. Unless you're out in really cold temperatures, having the bottle in the sun should work just fine. That's a feature you'd really only need early, early on, but they make it a major feature. Bad thinking.

So the major things they talk about seem super dangerous, impossible or just useless to me.

Unknown said...

I also kept waiting for the punchline. Sure seems like a prank to me.

Matt said...

This might just be me, but I worry about "pushing" the stroller into traffic at an intersection. I could picture myself stopped on the sidewalk at an intersection and then trying to move closer to the baby. But as I moved closer, the stroller would move away from me and into traffic. If I have to control this on the app, I'm afraid I would screw it up.

Similarly, if I am approaching a crosswalk I would need to stop well before I normally would else the stroller would move into traffic when I don't intend it to do so.

Freeman Hunt said...

A simple power assist would be great. No one will trust hands free or electronic brakes though. A regular jogging stroller has a strap to attach to the jogger so that it won't roll away if the jogger falls down. Nearly all strollers have lever brakes operated with one's foot to keep them in place while standing still.

TML said...

weputachipinit.tumblr.com

Khesanh 0802 said...

Looks like great rig, but it seems also to provide just one more tool to give you an excuse to ignore another human being. If you are spending time with a child shouldn't you be spending time with the child?

Ray said...

Interesting idea and has some neat ideas. I don't think any of them are must have at the current level of development. And the combination is not a must have, like the iphone.

The self driving is interested, but too limited at this time. Looks like it assumes a perfect surface for driving on.

Another feature that is neat is the video. With the continued advances in facial recognition, there are some neat possibilities there.

Henry said...

I want to see Usain Bolt with one of these.

Char Char Binks said...

It needs a dead man's switch.

Yancey Ward said...

I would say with pretty good confidence that this stroller is quite a bit safer than a normal stroller you would run with.

Having said that, though, the very first accident with this that kills or greatly harms the child- and it will happen- will bankrupt the company.

dreams said...

Looks good.

I bought one of these a few years ago when I was playing a lot golf.

http://www.kangaroogolf.com/

Darrell said...

Having said that, though, the very first accident with this that kills or greatly harms the child- and it will happen- will bankrupt the company.

Back in the early 1980s, I installed a deadman brake system on a friend's baby buggy. She lived on a hill and almost had an incident with the stroller rolling backwards. When you squeezed a bar under the regular handle, it pulled back two spring-loaded levers contacting the tires. Remove your hands and the rear wheels were locked. It turned out so well that I looked into selling the idea or patenting it. I also wondered why the major manufacturers weren't using such a system now. Legal liability was the answer.

Dave in Tucson said...

I, for one, welcome our new robotic nanny overlords.

Roughcoat said...

So that's where "The Untouchables" director got the idea.

Cineastes call it, ostentatiously, an "hommage" (pronounced "Oh-mhaj").

In the same movie, de Palma also "hommage'd" John Ford.

Tarentino movies are just one hommage after another, Easter egg hunts interspersed with lengthy monologues.

Anthony said...

Anything that will get hot moms in spandex outside is a Good Thing.

tim in vermont said...

I have seen golf bags like that for a couple of years, I always thought they would be great.

tim in vermont said...

Tarentino movies are just one hommage after another,

"Was it an homage? Nah, we just stole it!" forget what movie that was.

tim in vermont said...

I think that it is better used for golf clubs.

Birches said...

I'd need it to be a double, but yeah, I'd spend money on that. I bought a treadmill after I had my last because I knew I'd never get a chance to run outside with the last two kids being so close together. Have you ever tried to run with a double BOB stroller? Some people do it, but I am not one of them.

dbp said...

Turning, as has been pointed-out, is the problem. A simple solution would be for the machine to follow, rather than lead the runner. A less expensive solution would be a harness, worn around the waist, which pulls a sort of baby cart. Low tech and hands-free.

Unknown said...

The follow idea has the potential problem that if it stops following and you don't notice immediately, you've just left your kid somewhere.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Good idea, many useful features. Gotta be pricy. Market would be rental fleet in large city.

MaxedOutMama said...

Problem is that if it works very well 99.5% of the time, that remaining 0.5% becomes even more dangerous - because you expect it to work, and you are not paying attention.

It's dependent on power, for one thing. In low power it might fail. If every user were perfect, perhaps it would come down to 0.01% failure. But people aren't perfect, nor are they perfectly attentive.

For example, suppose I were driving along nearing a cross walk, and I see a woman looking at her phone and a free buggy cruising toward the pavement. I would hit the effin' brakes very fast and hard, and the driver behind me would smack into me. I think both of the drivers would have a cause of action against the buggy maker.

rcocean said...

The more complex, the more things that can wrong.

MadisonMan said...

Didn't watch? Were they running up and down hills? Next to big gullies?

wildswan said...

I don't think the unassisted power idea is going to work, even if it only kills ten or fifteen babies and cripples only a few hundred more. Cars are dangerous too but we need them. The stroller don't really solve an unsolved problem except how to run with a baby or be in Starbucks with a baby who needs a nap. Besides, in the old kind of stroller you had to keep talking to the baby, pointing things out. With this one, I'm not sure you could talk to the baby if you wanted to. It's kind of a stroll to autism.

Daniel Jackson said...

N'importe quoi

Rusty said...

How hard is it to push a 30 pound kid around in a stroller?

tim in vermont said...

So it solves the problem of making the jogger exert less effort?

Rance Fasoldt said...

Oh great. Wouldn't want today's liberated mom to have to get too close to her baby

Earnest Prole said...

One word: Gaybe

Skyler said...

It looks great if your baby stays a baby for 10 years. But after the kid is 4 or 5 it becomes useless, unless you want to use it to go to the grocery store.

Rusty said...

Skyler

Orrr.
Put some oversize knobbies on that thing and take it hiking with you. Put your backpack in it. I wonder how much of a grade it can handle?

Lost My Cookies said...

Who can afford this?

It reminds me of the stroller my aunt gave us when we had our first kid. It was the "in" brand, something european. It was huge and supposedly opened and closed with one finger, but we never figured that out. It had cup holders and a cooler and weighed 100 pounds. It was also super expensive and I can still remember how stupid we looked, two broke kids, barely in their twenties fighting with the $800 stroller and the 16 year old volvo in the parking lot of Big Lots.