Melbourne dads create life saving device

The device in place inside a car.

By Danielle Galvin

A group of Melbourne dads have joined forces to create a device they hope will save the lives of Australian children.

Father-of-two Andrew Orkin is one of the brains behind the Clever Elly device, a dual USB charger that plugs in to your car and reminds you each time you turn your car off to check the back seat.

It’s hoped the Clever Elly will prevent parents from accidentally leaving their child in a car, which can have fatal consequences.

There are 10 different verbal reminders on rotation.

The concept is simple, but Mr Orkin said it’s all about building a “life-saving habit”.

“It’s almost like a voice inside your head to check the back seat,” Mr Orkin said.

“It’s become a simple, inexpensive device.”

Mr Orkin and two of his friends from high-school developed the device and believe every car should be fitted with the technology to remind parents and grandparents alike.

“The same way we put on a seatbelt, we should have this,” he said.

During their research, the Melbourne dads discovered how easy it is for parents on auto-pilot to suffer from a memory lapse, and forget their child is still strapped in their car seat.

He said for some parents, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that none of us are immune to these sorts of memory lapses.

It was an experience of his own that spurred him on to develop the Clever Elly.

“It’s a good habit, it’s a habit everyone needs to have,” he said.

“What happened to me was I had a phone call from work and I was driving to my kid to daycare. I took a phone call and it was intense and during the call, I realised I had started driving to work.

“I only realised by accident, my son made a sound in the back.

“It was a series of unfortunate and unlikely circumstances that can happen.”

He said the long term goal is to make it standard in the automotive industry to have some sort of reminder to parents

The technology is there, but he said there has to be a market for it.

“We don’t want to make money off it, we just want to change the industry I guess,” he said.

“The same way seatbelts took decades to introduce, this is a worthy device.”