Until technology allowed for smart cars with rear cameras and automatic brakes or steering corrections, innovations in car safety were seldom and slow to take place. Though the first car hit the road in the early 1900s, adult seat belts weren’t standard features until the late 1950s. Similarly, the iteration of a booster seat hit the market not as a device to keep the child safe but to keep the child visible to adults in the front seat. Later, in 1962, Jean Ames invented a rear-facing car seat with a Y-shaped strap system to secure the baby in the event of an accident. Ford came out with its own model in 1968.
Fast forward to present day and Jon Sumroy of London has given us the mifold(pronounced my-fold), a “grab-and-go booster seat” that is compact, lightweight and unique in concept. Rather than making the child taller so that adult-sized seat belts in the back seat can be used properly, Sumroy’s creation is able to adjust the seat belt to the child’s level and hold it there. Sumroy, claims that this It’s a fraction of the size of a typical booster seat, measuring at 10-square inches when folded. This means it’s small enough to fit in a seatback pocket, glove compartment or backpack.
Unsurprisingly, the Indiegogo campaign for the product has surpassed its original goal of $40,000 by more than 10 fold. With less than three days left in the campaign, supporters have given more than $420,000 in support of the device, aimed for children ages 4-12 who weigh between 40 and 120.
While the design is innovative, the safety aspects comply to standards in the USA and the EU. Prototypes have been crash tested but final testing will be conducted later this year. Manufacturing is expected to begin this coming February, with deliveries slated for March 2016.