Wearable Baby Trackers: The Newest Technologies for Millennial Moms

 In Body Monitor, Hardware + Software, Quantified Self, Uncategorized

The list of parental worries – especially newborn related ones – is a long one, with SIDS, choking while sleeping, rolling while sleeping, and breathing issues as top concerns. Infant wearables are now starting to take the stage to track sleeping environments and movements. These trackers serve to give anxious parents peace of mind, and to collect data to better predict the baby’s future actions. While still considered a new subset of trackers, the popularity of these next four infant and baby trackers is a testament to the industry’s recent growth.

Sproutling is a band that sits around your baby’s ankle. It is equipped with a smart sensor that detects changes in the baby’s heart rate, skin temperature, and movement, and sends that information to a connected phone app in real-time.

The Sproutling sensor is encapsulated in a fully-sealed medical-grade silicone pod in a shape that prevents choking. Three sized bands are included in each kit so the sensor can be worn well into the baby’s first two years of life.

The modern looking smart charger also has sensors embedded into it to detect environmental signals including room temperature, humidity, sound levels, and brightness. These factors can affect a baby’s comfort level, and collecting this data can help predict optimal sleep conditions and sleep habits for each individual wearer.

The app sends updates to all connected devices – letting parents and caregivers know when the baby is awake, asleep, moody, or most importantly, if something isn’t right. The more concerning alerts are set to notify immediately when a significant change happens – such as in heart rate or skin temperature, or movements like rolling over while sleeping.

The goal of Sproutling is to give parents actionable information not individual data points, which can spur unnecessary worry. Sproutling doesn’t give the exact temperature or heart rate, just unusual fluctuations. Sproutling will ship in March 2015. As of the publishing date, all Sproutlings have been sold out on Sproutling.com, but there is an open waitlist.

Mimo takes baby monitoring one step further by capturing real-time audio along with sleep and activity insights. Yes, now you can hear your baby breathing, laughing, or crying from anywhere in the world.

The Mimo system has three parts – a onesie called a ‘kimono,’ a sensor called a ‘Turtle,’ and a data collection hub called the ‘Lilypad.’ The kimono has sensors on top that track respiration, and the turtle sends that information (breathing, body position, sleep activity, and skin temperature) via Bluetooth to the Lilypad. The Lilypad then streams all data as well as live audio to the cloud and to all connected devices.

The starter kit has 3 kimonos of growing sizes to fit a baby of 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-12 months. You can order the Mimo today on their website.

Still under development, Owlet is a smart sock that uses pulse oximetry in the form of a small LED to monitor vital signs like heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

Like the Mimo, the system has three parts – the sock, the sensor, and a base station. The sensor and the base station are connected via Bluetooth and like Mimo’s Turtle, the base station transfers the data (infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels) to the cloud where it can be sent to all connected devices.

Alerts can be set to notify when there is a notable change in heart rate or if the child’s oxygen saturation drops below 85% and stays below 85% for too long. Owlet is designed to fit any child, on average, for up to one year. You can leave your email on their website for updates on the product.

Unlike Mimo and Owlet, the next monitoring system, MonBaby, is a clip sensor that can snap onto any article of a baby’s clothing. MonBaby tracks breathing rate, movement level and sleep position through a single high-precision MEMS accelerometer.

Not needing a base, Monbaby can transmit data and alerts to connected smart devices between 50 ft and 200 ft, depending on electromagnetic interference. For added simplicity, the MonBaby is powered by a coincell battery that on average lasts two months, eliminating daily charging. While small, as per the Company’s website, the MonBaby’s inner enclosure is 1.3 inches in diameter, which is bigger than the 1.25 inches required to pass a choking tube test.

MonBaby’s real time stats (patterns are sent five times/second) include breathing rate, movement, and sleep position, and alerts are sent to connected devices when the sensor detects rolling, movement, falls, and lack of breathing.

Already in pre-order mode, the first batch is sold out and will be shipping mid-February. Order now to make the next shipment in mid-April.

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