Quietly Making a Difference: The Lollipop Precious Cargo Device
Two locals are doing what they can to make a difference.
Each year, according to a San Jose State University study, an average of 37 children die from being left in hot cars.
It’s a frightening statistic that two Richmonders, friends Tony Vadella and Tommy Lesperance, want to change.
In 2014, they collaborated with Atlanta-based tech wizard Rick Hammond on a potentially life-saving gizmo – the Lollipop Precious Cargo (PC) device. They launched it in May under their startup company EbitCreative LLC. The device alerts parents when they have left children in a car alone.
“It’s always a tragedy seeing this happen every summer,” says Vadella, a boomer, “because it’s generally pretty obvious that parents are not intentionally leaving their kid in the back of the car … Technology is supposed to make life easier, and so we just thought this was a great marriage to serve a very important need.”
HOW IT WORKS
The device is a blue-and-white swirl about the size of a large key fob that can fit in the palm of an adult’s hand. It can be dropped in a child’s pocket or pinned to a car seat.
The Lollipop PC sounds off when a person reaches a pre-programmed distance from something – or someone – they do not want to leave behind.
It comes with an app (available for iPhones, and soon for Androids) that can be installed on a phone or other mobile device. The Lollipop PC then is synced to the phone and attached to a child or any other item. Though marketed as a child-safety item, it can also be used to keep children at a safe distance and to keep track of key rings, pocketbooks and even pets.
The device sells online at lollipoppc.com for $29.95, with discounts for multiple purchases.
EbitCreative has sold a few hundred devices in the first production run of 5,000. The device is marketed and sold only in the U.S.
Talks of wholesale relationships are in the works. But Vadella and Lesperance are initially focusing on branding efforts and educating people about using Smartphone devices for this kind of “wearable” technology. Currently, the two are working on a Lollipop PC that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet, and even want future models to have a GPS. They said it could be effective in amber alerts, too.
When asked about donating the Lollipop PC or working with organizations pro bono, the two say they are open to the idea.
Lesperance says, “If there were a way we could help out people, we would do it … Basically, if we just have one opportunity to save a child’s life, I think it’s worth the investment.”
For more: lollipoppc.com.
Daniel Jones is BOOMER’s staff writer. Contact him at Daniel@TheBoomerMagazine.com.