OmniO Rider is a stroller which can be folded down and carried as a backpack, ready to be deployed when your tired toddler suddenly decides they can't walk any more (typically at the point you are farthest from home). The device, which recently won "British Invention of the Year Award" at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham, UK, is currently looking for funding on Indiegogo.
At first glance the OmniO Rider looks much like any other stroller which is designed to fold small enough to fit in the boot of your car, or on public transport. But the minimal frame of the device means that within 30 seconds it can be folded down from a fully-functioning buggy, into a unit which is small enough to be worn like a backpack using the built-in straps.
When folded, OmniO Rider measures just 50 x 40 x 20 cm (17 x 16 x 8 in) and weighs 6 kg (13 lb), with built-in padded straps making it easy to carry backpack-style. As this also makes it IATA cabin baggage-sized, the buggy comes with a cabin bag which can be used to store or cover the buggy, but leaves access to the shoulder harness and carry handle grip.
Its makers say this portability makes the OmniO Rider ideal when traveling, or as children are beginning to walk more themselves. It's suitable from 6 months to 22 kg (48 lb). However, even when in its unfurled buggy state, the OmniO Rider has a couple of nifty features to help it stand out from the crowd, most notably its unique omni-wheel steering system.
Two of the wheels on the stroller are omni-wheels which while rotating like a standard wheel, can also roll sideways. They are also puncture proof and allow the OmniO Rider to easily move over different surfaces whether city pavements or a woodland path. The two omni-wheels can also be moved between the front or rear axle depending on preferred steering style, and the brake is applied via the rear axle either way.
Other, more standard, buggy features include a six‐point child harness (which doubles up to act as shoulder and hip straps in backpack mode) along with an included sun canopy and rain cover. There is also an assortment of matching accessories including an insulated drink bottle carrier, a lunch/camera bag, a large shoulder bag, and a foot muff.
The duo behind the OmniO Rider, Markus and Samantha Warwick, told Gizmag they came up with the idea after constantly facing the dilemma of whether or not to take the stroller out for their son who was beginning to be more independent. Sometimes despite insisting on walking, he would suddenly become too tired to carry on, and fall asleep where he was. Markus said because the OmniO Rider can be worn on your back, it's also practical to take on a bike ride (for when you've finished cycling), or other situations where you might not be able to take a stroller.
While it might not be as much fun to use as the Roller Buggy or the Longboard Stroller, or even as gadget-packed as the Origami, the OmniO Rider could certainly come in handy for those times you either need a lightweight and portable stroller, or have a newly-independent and walking toddler who suddenly needs a nap. It also looks slicker than previous backpack strollers like the QuickSmart.
OmniO Rider is currently on Indiegogo and looking to raise US$50,000 by April 25th. An early bird pledge of $350 is currently enough to get you one complete with a sun canopy, rain cover, and cabin bag. Once those have gone it will cost you $400, which is still cheaper than the $500 RRP. Estimated delivery is October, assuming all goes according to plans.
You can check out a promo video for the OmniO Rider below.
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