We all like to think we’d be kind enough to offer our seat to an expecting mom while traveling on public transportation. But we can only give it up if we notice that she’s there. Babee On Board, an app created in London, notifies riders when a pregnant woman is on the train and seeking a seat, right on that smartphone you’ve been staring at the whole ride.
And yes, it was inspired by an embarrassing real-life scenario.
“A year ago an 80-year-old woman, who was sitting next to me on a busy [London] tube, got up and offered her seat to a heavily pregnant woman. I was mortified,” says Hew Leith, CEO of 10x, a London-based innovation agency. “I was too engrossed on my smartphone to notice anything. So as soon as I let the older woman have my seat, I began racking my brains for a solution.”
By the time the train had pulled into the platform, Hew had formulated the idea to use Bluetooth notifications so pregnant people could let commuters know they could use a seat.
Once someone downloads the Babee On Board “Offer Seat” app, he or she will get notified any time a pregnant woman activities her “Request Seat” button within a 15-foot radius. The app never needs to be opened and works underground. It’s extremely energy efficient as well, using less than one percent of battery life.
Pregnant moms can download the App for $5.00, and 100 percent of profits from the app are donated to charity.
Getting notified, and giving up your seat is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel like the day’s hero. “The first time I got a notification on my phone that a pregnant person with our app was a pretty amazing moment,” Hew shares. “Hopefully there will be many more of these moments as more people download the Babee on Board apps.”
And good news, Babee on Board is being delivered stateside. “We're definitely ready to help New York City's pregnant commuters,” Hew exclaims. “In fact, we've had over 100 New Yorkers (both pregnant and non-pregnant commuters) contact us to ask when it'll be available.”
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