June 2, 2005

The Orbit Infant System: For When James Bond Has A Kid

orbit_transport_system.jpgBugaboo, 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]


You know what? It's pretty cool and the whole operating system appeals to my masculine but geeky side. Unfortunately, the looks leave a lot to be desired, and by a lot, I mean a lot. Remember, women have to use these things to. And even men want the thing to look like a stroller, not an infant delivery device.

I actually like the way it looks. If they had it in that pistachio green of the website I would really like it. But I'm weird like that.

I love that you can put the car seat in at any angle and turn it to attach, but if they could design a way to carry those infant seats without slipping a disk they'd really be on to something.

Ditto on the swiveling base -- I'm so unhappy about moving up to a rear-facing convertible (in the center of a small back seat) this month. Being able to put the kid in from the side and then twist them into place is such a no-brainer! Too bad their toddler upgrade will arrive too late for me...

wow...that is pretty cool. It probably costs more than my first car though (and is more high tech)

I see this stroller as two things:

The Dept of Defese Stroller: The dock mechanism can hold an infant seat, toddler, twins, multiple independant re-entry vehicles...

The Trekkie Stroller: Doesn't this look like the stroller in episode 39, stardate 25205 where Picard enters the Xinda system and they encounter a positron flux?

Still not as cool at the Stokke Xplory. I bought the Xplory 2 months ago and absolutely love it. My daughter sees everything from a much higher view.. she has a great time in it. Cool design also.

Does this stroller have a cover/shade? Babies need to be protected from the sun, wind, & rain, but this stroller looks like it doesn't have a top. Other than that, it looks really really cool. Definately something my husband could be proud of...

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