With an entire world of Internet of Things products scouring the market, the technology has finally made its way to baby technology. This season, IoTs have been developed for baby, to help parents monitor their infant’s health wirelessly.
Owlet Baby Care
Owlet smart sock (via Owlet)
Owlet Baby Care created the world’s very first “smart” baby sock, which can monitor a number of baby’s vitals and send the data directly to a mobile device. Some of the information it monitors includes baby’s heart rate, skin temperature, changes in sleep position, oxygen levels and quality of sleep. The monitor is the first consumer device that keeps a pulse on baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate, to keep parents aware when Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the number one killer of infants 12 months and younger in the U.S., becomes a risk.
The CEO of Owlet, Kurt Workman, lost his cousin to SIDS and when his wife became pregnant, he set out to create a device that could help notify parents in the event that their child stops breathing.
Jacob Colvin, Owlet founder and father of two, said every parent is familiar with the stress of wondering whether or not their child is breathing, especially during the first year. One of his children suffered from Respiratory Syncytial Syndrome and he said it was one of the most difficult experiences of his life. Colvin and Workman developed the sock as a way to put parents at ease. Colvin said if only one parent or child is helped by the device, their efforts have been worthwhile.
The sock was developed using a four-sensor pulse oximeter, similar to the red light sensor used at medical facilities. The sensors keep a pulse on nine different vitals, making it even more advanced that medical-grade technology, at a fraction of the cost. The monitor can continue to be used, so long as the child still fits into the sock, which most two-year-old children would have outgrown.
The device was revealed at the 2014 CES Hardware Battlefield. The company is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and four out of the five designers behind Owlet are fathers.
Mimo Kimono and Turtle (via Mimo)
Next on upcoming technology is Mimo, a wearable IoT onesie for baby that also keeps track of vitals to help alleviate “mom brain” and allow everyone to get a better night’s sleep.
Mimo was developed by Rest Devices, a company that once specialized in the development of medical devices. More recently, the company switched gears to bring the world a line of simple, wearable devices for the whole family, including Mimo for baby.
Mimo is based on the “Mimo Kimono,” an organic, cotton, washable onesie. A monitor, called the “Turtle,” connects directly to the Mimo Kimono (without touching baby’s skin) and can monitor skin temperature, activity levels, respiration and body position in real time. The data is sent to the Mimo Lilypad Base Station via safe, low energy Bluetooth, giving parents live updates straight to their mobile devices.
Parents have the option to use the “Lilypad & Turtle” as an audio monitor as well and can program the app to send a notification whenever vitals change. With extended use, the app, which is available for both iOS and Android users, can track baby’s sleeping patterns, feeding schedule and more.
Mimo is currently available for pre-sale through Babies ‘R’ Us. The Starter Kit, which includes three Mimo Kimonos, a Lilypad base and Turtle monitor, retails for $199.99. The Kimonos currently only come in the size 0-3 months, but larger sizes are on the way. Kimonos retail separately for $29.99 for two.
Sensible Baby SmartOne sensor (via Sensible Baby)
Sensibly Baby is another contender in the IoT baby technology market. Very similar to Mimo, Sensible Baby also offers a onesie that has a removable sensor that can track baby’s vitals and update parents safely by transferring data via Bluetooth.
Sensible Baby recently participated in the 2013 MassChallenge to raise funds for the development of the monitor and expects the product to be available on the market soon.
The Sensible Baby monitor, called the SmartOne, is a small, blue device that tracks baby’s breathing, movement and body temperature. Unlike Mimo, the SmartOne does not require a data-transmitting base and sends information updates directly to the mobile device to which it is synced.
SIDS is a major concern in the United States and is the third top killer of all infants in the U.S. Ben Cooper, co-founder and CEO of Sensible Baby, also served as an engineer to the U.S. Army’s Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, and said the device is intended to give parents peace of mind. Cooper also said product reviews during beta testing were mostly positive.
Sensible Baby will retail its starter kit, which includes one sensor and three onesies, for $150. The coinciding app will be free and is available for both iOS and Android users.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 more than 2,000 infant deaths related to SIDS were reported. Of these cases, 918 causes were unknown and 629 were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.
While the risk of SIDS remains relatively low overall, most parents suffer from anxiety at the thought of their baby being a victim. These new technologies, and likely those to come in the future, can help parents sleep easier, knowing that their baby is healthy and happy.
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