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You see an awful lot of rubbish on Dragon’s Den, with delusional presenters trying to sell something even they haven’t got faith in to the panel of Business Gurus. And when I read about this product I was sure that it should have been put past the panel before even touching the market

But it seemingly hasn’t. And I even checked the date to make sure that it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. It wasn’t.

So I think I’ll have to take this seriously then.

A revolutionary baby seat that deploys a protective cocoon in collisions has been unveiled by a British firm.

It’s called the Carkoon, and it is a “rear-facing baby seat that features a sliding protective shell made from Kevlar and fireproof Nomex, which is capable of keeping a child safe for up to 18 minutes in the event of a blaze. The Carkoon also contains a transmitter that alerts emergency services with the exact GPS location of the child – giving vital extra information for any rescue effort.”

I had to quote the press release because I actually found it difficult to believe. A cocoon that is called the Carkoon? A bit too close to Clarkson if you ask me (I wonder what he thinks of it. There’s no quote from him as yet!) and something that, despite having read the PR bumf a good few times, I still can’t work out how it actually protects the child aside from sticking it in an egg-like contraption that can be removed from the vehicle courtesy of a “quick release” handle that saves messing about with seatbelts for rapid ejection.

“Initially we tried to think of a way to create a car seat that got around the many ways cars seats are attached and create uniformity manufacturers could adhere to,” Carkoon’s inventor Jullian Preston-Powers said. “We realised that adults are protected by airbags but babies don’t have any protection from the same technology.”

The cocoon shell is also highly sensitive and only deploys in extreme circumstances (such as a collision) thanks to an embedded gyroscopic magnitude sensor that detects when a vehicle is tipped back or forward. The Carkoon’s air shield does not come into contact with the baby at all and also protects them from objects in the car that turn into potentially fatal projectiles at high speeds. No news as to how the baby will react by suddenly being encased in an egg for a while.

The original idea for the product came about after a Sussex fireman told the Brighton-based Cool Technologies about an unsuccessful attempt to save a baby from a burning car.

“We thought to ourselves; what if there isn’t a firefighter there at all? There must be a way to protect the child from fire,” said Mr Preston-Powers. “Smoke is difficult thing to deal with as well but the car seat does cocoon around the child so it prevents smoke it seeping in.

Looking at the pictures of it, baby is in for an awful shock if it’s not already been frightened by the collision itself.

Quite simply there is nothing like it on the market today, including itself, as it’s not actually launched until Spring 2013, with a price tag of around £499.

They say you can’t put a price on safety. Maybe £499 is that price?


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