Crib Tech: Wearables for Infants

Wearables intrigue me. Whether in the form of wristbands or head-mounted displays, they’ve been big news at recent Consumer Electronics Shows, particularly for those who like to track their vital signs during exercise. But the most fascinating category – and most relevant to our target audience, moms — is wearables for babies: apparel and devices that track babies’ sleeping patterns, breathing and more. Some of the most interesting:

  •  The Mimo’s Baby Monitor onesie from Rest Devices is fitted with sensors that measure a baby’s respiration. When combined with the clip-on Mimo Turtle, the product can also monitor and infant’s skin temperature, body position and activity level. The Mimo app enables parents to see their baby’s data in real time, set alerts to let them know if anything changes, and view trends and analytics over time.
  • Owlet Baby Care offers a “smart sock” that senses a baby’s oxygen level, skin temperature, heart rate and sleep data. The sock is embedded with sensors that send data via Bluetooth to a smartphone and alerts caregivers if the baby’s heart rate is too high or low of if the baby stops breathing.
  • Sproutling is developing an ankle-bracelet monitor for babies.

These are just some examples of new devices that make the baby monitor of the past look like a Blackberry next to an iPhone6.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, however, noted that few safety regulations exist for such products and that fit bit, which makes fitness trackers for adults, voluntarily recalled a digital bracelet after some complained about blisters and rashes.

With that in mind, the question arises: Are these tech advances essential for good parenting or  –  with potential safety concerns and prices often $200 per device and up —   cool but unnecessary?