Startup Glüxkind’s Ella smart stroller brings parents advanced safety features powered by NVIDIA Jetson edge AI platform.
by BRIAN CAULFIELD
As any new mom or dad can tell you, parenting can be a challenge — packed with big worries and small hassles. But it may be about to get a little bit easier thanks to Glüxkind Technologies and their smart stroller, Ella.
The company has just been named a CES 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree for their AI-powered stroller, which was designed to make life easier for new parents and caregivers.
“People love the rock-a-baby feature and the push and brake assist,” said Glüxkind co-founder and CEO Kevin Huang of a product that’s become an instant sensation at the annual technology industry confab. “When you’re able to hold your child and have the stroller take care of itself, that’s a pretty magical moment.”
The story behind the product that’s made headlines around the world began three years ago when Huang and his co-founder, Anne Hunger, had a baby daughter and went stroller shopping.
And, like all parents, they learned about the challenges of wrangling a stroller packed with baby gear and the safety concerns that have new parents shopping for the safest vehicles they can afford.
“I realized, ‘man, this stuff hasn’t changed in the last 30 years,’” Huang said.
Modern cars, for example, are equipped with systems that ensure they don’t roll backward when you’re stopped on a hill, Huang explained.
“So I thought maybe we can add some of the things already there for cars into this platform that actually carries our children, so we can have a safer and more convenient experience.”
The response from parents at CES was overwhelmingly positive. No surprise, given the in-depth research Huang and his team conducted with new parents.
But it’s also wowed tech enthusiasts worldwide, earning honors from the awards program produced by the Consumer Technology Association, the trade group behind the annual Las Vegas conference.
“We came to CES with the idea of announcing the product and getting maybe three to five writeups about what we were doing,” Huang said. “We didn’t expect the overwhelming amount of exposure we received.”
This year’s CES Innovation Awards program — overseen by an elite panel of judges, including media members, designers and engineers — received a record-high number of over 2,100 submissions, making it no small feat for Ella to come out on top.
AI-Powered Stroller Makes Parenting a Walk in the Park
Huang reports that NVIDIA’s Jetson edge AI platform powers the startup’s entire AI stack.
Glüxkind, based in Vancouver, Canada, is a member of NVIDIA Inception, a free program designed to help startups evolve faster through access to cutting-edge technology and NVIDIA experts, opportunities to connect with venture capitalists, and co-marketing support to heighten the company’s visibility.
With Jetson, Huang explains that the stroller is able to use computer vision to map the stroller’s surroundings, using Jetson’s GPU and CPU to process and do pathfinding.
As a result, when the child isn’t in the stroller, parents can activate Ella’s intelligent hands-free strolling mode.
This advanced parent-assist technology helps parents focus on their kids rather than wrangling an empty stroller packed with diapers, snacks, and other supplies.
“It stays out of the way when you don’t need it, but it’s there when you do need it,” Huang said.
But while the stroller is intelligent — able to follow a caregiver as they hold a baby or help ensure the stroller doesn’t roll away on its own — it’s not designed to work independently.
Quite the opposite. With Ella’s adaptive push and brake assistance, caregivers can enjoy effortless walks no matter the terrain — uphill, downhill or even when fully loaded with groceries and toys.
Ella also has features that make parenting easier, such as Rock-My-Baby mode to help little ones get the sleep they need and built-in white noise playback.
“We’re trying to make it so the technology we’re building is augmentative to the parents’ experience to make parenting easier and safer,” Huang said.
The result: while parenting will never be a walk in the park, actually taking that newborn for an actual walk in the park will soon be a lot less of a hassle.
Image credit: Glüxkind Technologies