Wearables on the hype cycle: a ‘Fitbit for babies’

click to enlargeIs nothing sacred? Certainly not when you want a high-performing infant! FastCompany Design goes ga-ga over the Sproutling, an anklet activity monitor for the bassinet set. It tracks heart rate, skin temperature, and movement plus the room’s ambient temperature, humidity and light levels via a camera and sensors in a base station, sending data to parental smartphones. Target price not disclosed. More measurements here than our late summer baby rave, the Owlet smart sock sleep monitor which primarily alerts for dangerous baby rollover onto the stomach and trends in sleep quality, plus blood oxygen and skin temperature. There’s quite a bit in the article on how the designers are working to make sleep notifications less parental anxiety-making, the band around the ankle acceptable to adults, soft and replaceable for the baby, etc. It does all seem a bit over-thought in various concerns, particularly when the early adopters will likely want more whiz-bang, not less. The designers and CEO Chris Bruce are targeting in-market by early summer 2014 and will probably skip the crowdfunding.  But not to worry–they already have $2.6 million from their Series A funding in September (TechCrunch). Prediction: two ‘must haves’ for 2014 baby showers. (And perhaps, if someone is really bright, translatable to wearable monitoring for older adults with tender skin.)

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