Smart new app lets you know when a pregnant woman needs a seat on the tube

A new app aims to sort tube awkwardness about offering a pregnant woman your seat [Photo: Getty]

To offer your seat or not? It’s the commuter’s greatest dilemma. It’s not that you don’t want to give up your seat to a pregnant lady, its more that you don’t want to make assumptions about whether or not someone is pregnant. And lets be honest in the early stages it’s kinda hard to tell. But as most pregnant women will testify it’s often those first few months of pregnancy when you need that seat the most.

Sure Baby on Board badges have made things a little easier for both parties, but not all women feel comfortable wearing them. Not only do they basically announce to the entire world that you’re preggo (whether you’re ready for the world to know or not), but you feel a bit of a numpty with pinning a badge to your coat especially in the early days when your ‘bump’ is actually more of a bulge.

Well step forward the new Babee on Board app, which aims to put an end to tube awkwardness once and for all. Developed by tech firm 10x, the app aims to let your fellow commuters know that you need to sit down.

When a pregnant person presses a button in the app, it sends a notification to smartphones within a 15 foot radius, alerting passengers to the request to sit down without them having to look up from their screens. The app uses Bluetooth technology, so it works underground without signal or Wi-Fi.

To work, the Babee on Board systems requires all parties to have signed up to it. The ‘Request Seat’ app is designed for pregnant women who want to request a seat and the ‘Offer Seat’ is for commuters wishing to opt in to give up their seat if required.

The creators were prompted to set up the app after an incident involving a pregnant lady on a tube. “A year ago an 80-year-old woman, who was sat next to me on a busy Tube, got up and offered her seat to a heavily pregnant woman. I was mortified. I was too engrossed on my smartphone to notice anything,” Hew Leith, CEO of 10x, told Mashable in a statement.

“So as soon as I let the older woman have my seat, I began racking my brains for a solution. By the time the Tube train pulled into the platform at Moorgate, I had the idea to use beacon Bluetooth notifications so pregnant people could let commuters know they’d like a seat,” he continued.

Not all women like wearing Baby on Board badges [Photo: PA]

The app is currently being piloted in London and if it is favourably received will be rolled out worldwide. Though the creators would have liked the app to be free, they needed to attach a cost to stop pranksters downloading it to mess around, so the Babee on Board: Request Seat app costs £3.99 with profits going to children’s charity Project Healthy. On the upside, the Babee on Board: Offer Seat app is free for anyone to download.

So if you fancy making your daily commute 100% less #awks and helping out a pregnant lady in the process, time to get downloading.

And if not, do look up from your phone every so often to look out for any Baby on Board badge wearers. Chances are, they really do need the seat more than you.

Would you sign up to the app? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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