Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ford puts babies to sleep with car-simulating cradle

The pulsating lights simulate the passing streetlights

T urns out that most fathers have been out driving in the middle of the night in order to get the baby to sleep.  This must have been going on for decades.  I certainly did and my son gets to do it now.

Ford has woken up after sleeping on it for a century or so and has now given us this. Great move that will be wonderfully welcome.

It obviously replaces the labor intensive crib.

Ford puts babies to sleep with car-simulating cradle

The pulsating lights simulate the passing streetlights
It's a phenomenon that many parents know well. The infant who just won't go to sleep at night, in a warm, cozy haven of slumber, will nod off in the car as if the subject of a master hypnotist. It doesn't matter that the engine's rumbling, bumps and potholes rattling the chassis, horns blaring outside ... baby's fast asleep. This fact can sometimes motivate desperate 3 a.m. car laps around the block, but Ford has a better idea: a baby bed that mimics the feeling, sound and light of riding in a car.

In a nice little piece of advertising that highlights one timeless bond between car and family, Ford and partners have developed what they call the Max Motor Dreams cot. If it works as designed, many new parents might call it "godsend." 

Ford isn't the first company to think of turning the sleep-inducing car ride into an actual baby product. Fisher Price had a similar idea with its Cruisin' Motion Soother, and there has also been at least one device built to secure to a crib and provide car ride-like vibrations. Ford's design is a more complete system, though, and even includes an app. 

The app ensures that baby's experience remains uniform from family car to cradle. Parents record the sound and movement of the actual family car. With this data, the Max Motor Dreams recreates the specific motion and sound, instead of just a generic sound/vibration pattern. 

The mattress rocks gently to simulate the subtle, soothing movement of the car ride, while a built-in audio system plays a restrained engine soundtrack to add the right background noise. Soft lighting flows around the sides and ends, imitating the gentle glow of streetlights outside the car window.
"While a quick drive in the family car can work wonders in getting baby off to sleep, the poor old parents still have to be awake and alert at the wheel," says Alejandro López Bravo, a designer at Espada y Santa Cruz, the Spanish creative studio that designed the Max Motor Dreams. "The Max Motor Dreams could make the everyday lives of a lot of people a little bit better."

The Max Motor Dreams was designed to serve as part of a Ford of Spain ad campaign. Ford says that while the design was developed as a one-off pilot, it's considering pursuing production based on the number of inquiries it's received.

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