Volkswagen has applied their autonomous car to building a semi-autonomous baby stroller. In a video that the German automaker’s Dutch office posted on Facebook, the prototype is shown to have automatic braking and auto-following capability, both enabled by an adaptive cruise control sensor, allowing the parent to walk or run with the stroller, hands-free.
What Brands Should Do
While just a prototype, the stroller presumably won’t be ready for consumer market in years, if ever. Nevertheless, this provides a great example for brands that are looking to find new ways to showcase some of their proudest achievements and innovations that are in development, while reaching out to a previously unreached audience segment.
Data informs our lives more and more every day. A final frontier of the data craze – the last private realm – has been the human body itself, but with the advent of FitBit and similar technologies, even that is fair game in the name of improved health. Researchers at the National Taiwan University in Taipei have developed a sensor to be placed permanently in the mouth to measure oral movements. Its accuracy is nearly 94% at this early stage, and it can differentiate between eating, speaking, coughing, smoking, drinking, and breathing. The device is capable of offering feedback to the user regarding these habits, as the FitBit can provide valuable data about a user’s level of physical activity. The current prototype is wired to allow charging, and is connected to a mouth brace, but future models could be embedded directly in teeth and charged via induction. Oral health is a strong indicator of holistic health, and with detailed data made available by such a sensor, the quantified self could be even closer than it presently appears.