Bugaboo, Xplory, Zapp... There's so much out-of-the-box stroller thinking going on these days, I wonder if anyone's left in the box. The latest example: the upcoming Orbit Infant System, an amazing, high-tech carrier/car seat stroller which'd be more at home at a JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs) conference than at the frilly, kitsch-soaked JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) conference where it made its debut last week.
Like the Frog and the Xplory, Orbit began with designers taking an entirely new look at the various uses, challenges, and assumptions of moving around with a kid. In Orbit's case, three product designers (and former Stanford classmates, who used to work at places like IDEO, which designed everything except--oh. Apparently, they designed that, too.) with new children in their lives spent three years developing a modular system which is centered on an "easy to use" circular base/locking mechanism they call the SmartHub. Depending on your particular brand of nerdiness, it ressembles either an Apollo 11 spacesuit helmet, a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine escape pod/air lock, or just about every nuclear warhead James Bond had to defuse in five seconds or we'll all die.
There'll be a car seat/carrier which doubles as an infant stroller available at launch [
Did I hear October? Did I hear $1200? I did, and they're wrong. Try November and $899. -ed.], and modules for a toddler upgrade and twins are set to follow.
I can't begin to do justice to Orbit's concept and features; for those who are dying to know more, the Orbitbaby website can't, either. It's slick and full of (little) photos and high-level info, but it's still a teaser. Call it one small step for man, one giant leap for strollerkind.
Check out the Orbit Infant System in all its modular techie slickness at Orbitbaby.com [orbitbaby.com]