Embrace Innovations, a start-up company that made headlines a couple of years ago for creating a low-cost, electricity-free baby incubator, has now designed a line of high-tech swaddles, sleeping bags, and blankets, Inc. reports. Made from a special fabric first developed for NASA space suits, the Little Lotus product line releases heat when a baby’s temperature rises, and draws in heat when it goes down. This way, infants stay a perfect 98.6 degrees.
Little Lotus is an extension the company’s first product, the Embrace Infant Warmer. Each year, an estimated 15 million babies are born too early. Among the many struggles these babies face is not having enough body fat to stay warm—which means that incubators could save these infants' lives. However, the devices are expensive, and many people around the world don’t have the electricity—or the training—to operate them.
In 2008, a group of Stanford business graduate students came up with a novel solution. A design class challenged Jane Chen and her classmates to build a cheaper baby incubator. The group ended up creating the Embrace, a low-cost infant warmer that doesn’t require electricity. The warmer looks like a tiny sleeping bag, and uses the same NASA-inspired fabric as Little Lotus: a wax-like substance that can be heated to 98.6 degrees and stay warm for eight hours. Most importantly, the Embrace is easy to use, and only costs $200.
Several years later, Chen and her colleagues officially launched Embrace Innovations, featuring the Embrace Infant Warmer. Chen tells Bloomberg that the technology has helped more than 200,000 babies in 14 countries—and that 10,000 Embrace Warmers are used globally.
The altruistic start-up saved lives, but it still needed to make money. That's why Embrace recently launched Little Lotus, a for-profit product line for healthy infants. Chen told Bloomberg that the temperature-controlled swaddles and blankets help babies sleep longer, and according to the company website, reduce the risk of SIDS. The machine-washable baby items can be purchased online, and for each product bought, $15 goes toward and Embrace warmer for a baby in a developing country.
The line’s swaddles and sleeping bags are $78, and are currently sold out. However, you can still learn more via the above video, or check out the Little Lotus website for more information.
Banner image courtesy of Little Lotus.