Ford’s Smart Crib Rocks

It’s an issue every parent has had to deal with, more times than they can remember – taking care of a beautiful, very young bundle of joy that just won’t settle down to sleep. For said parents, who are most likely functioning on just under ninety minutes of downtime themselves, it can be very taxing when all the rocking, humming and cuddling in the world has no effect.

The last resort, mostly because of the hassle of dressing and strapping the child in safe an warm, can be a soothing, nocturnal drive which, for reasons science still hasn’t fully explained, is often the only tonic for both the sleep deprived baby and the parents.

Already tired and stressed to their limit, though, a lot of parents are reluctant to go out into the cold dark and drive while exhausted, particularly with their most cherished on board. Which led to the idea for the MAX Motor Dreams cot.

Designed for a Ford of Spain ad campaign, the ‘smart’ crib replicates the aspects of a night time cruise that are amazing at inducing sleep for the young child in the backseat. By mimicking the distant rumble of the engine, the gentle rocking of the car and the glow from passing streetlamps, it simulates the most soothing parts of quiet car journey without anybody having to leave their bed.

“After many years of talking to mums and dads, we know that parents of newborns are often desperate for just one good night’s sleep. But 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,” said lead designer Alejandro López Bravo of creative studio Espada y Santa Cruz, where the Max Motor Dreams was conceived and developed.

The rectangular crib has a Ford motor that emulates the car movements of its C-Max car line. With LED lights included in the design to act as lamppost lights, the cot is Wi-Fi enabled and connects to a companion smartphone app, for parents to recreate the sounds, lights and movements from an especially tranquil car ride they’ve recorded

Why a car ride, even a simulated one, is so effective when helping babies drift off still raises questions. Some researchers say that being warm and gently rocked while surrounded by a constant low humming reminds infants of being in the womb, helping them to feel safe. Other theories include babies hearing differently to adults and listening to all frequencies together, because hearing broadband allows them to pick up sudden or unexpected noises and react as a survival trait, which is why a distant engine or some low-volume white noise can relax them so effectively.

Currently, the Max Motor Dreams is merely a prototype. However, pending interest, Ford say they may look into marketing the crib as a genuine product. Then, according to López Bravo, “The Max Motor Dreams could make the everyday lives of a lot of people a little bit better.”

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