A new app could be a groundbreaking development when it comes to pregnant commuters struggling to find a seat.

Babee on Board was launched in the UK on Monday and consists of two companion apps communicating via Bluetooth. Once an alert is triggered, people nearby with the app receive a message saying there is someone who needs to sit down.

The app containing the alert button costs £3.99, which will be donated to a children's charity. It works underground and doesn't require commuters to have signal on their phones. The partner app, which notifies passengers that somebody requires a seat, can be downloaded for free and will activate automatically if a seat request is sent.

Mr Leith said: "We should be using our eyes, but if you look around you, everyone whips out their phone as soon as they sit down. When we did user testing quite a few women said that early on in pregnancy, when they are not showing, is when they feel most ill and need a seat the most. But visibly you can't see the bump and you can't always see the badge because the trains get so busy."

Analyst Marina Koytcheva from CCS Insight said the firm had recognised a business opportunity. She said: "Travelling on public transport at rush hour is an arduous task at the best of times. When you are pregnant it is even more challenging. It is amazing what technology can do today, but it is also hard to tell how many pregnant women will be willing to pay for the convenience of finding a seat."

The app is currently being trialled in London, with a view to expanding across the country.

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