Patents are a virtue: Separating the kids
Just Google ‘kid backseat divider’ and you’ll be amazed how many desperate parents are asking for help. Desperate parents resort to DIY partitions using TV boxes, towels, and pet dividers. One even suggested asking taxi drivers where they get their plastic partitions fitted. A quick patent search found a number of patents to backseat dividers, including this gem from US 6,260,903.
Strangely, no actual products have taken off. Perhaps Macleod et al, the applicants of recently-granted patent US 8,720,991 have the solution. They explain seat dividers need to be adaptable depending on the childrens’ moods, since “a partition that creates an absolute barrier between children may prevent otherwise much-needed healthy and playful interactions between the children”.
The seat divider of their patent has panes which can be opened and closed from each side, and the top portion of the partition can also be folded down into slot “if the children desire to communicate in a civil manner”. This seat divider also contains a few other cunning ideas to keep kids entertained for that little bit longer, including fold-out desks and compartments for books, toys, etc. Main problem with this design: where to put the third kid?