According to a group of American students, the baby intercom can be replaced. They thought of an alternative: a pair of smart socks that monitors the baby’s heartbeat and sends the information to the parents’ smartphone. This Owlet Baby Monitor is a wireless baby sock that is attached on the foot of the baby. The monitor measures the breathing and the oxygen level in the blood. When there are irregularities, the parents get a message. With these smart socks, the students want to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In the Netherlands, health and safety organizations have already expressed they do not approve a baby intercom with a little mat that is placed underneath the mattress to monitor the breathing. Therefore I am curious about the reactions that will be aired when this prototype will be produced as a commercial product…
Is a baby intercom necessary? On www.sciencepalooza.nl when you click on the header ‘Big momma is watching you’, pedagogue Peter Hoffenaar introduces a study that was done in the United States, in which parents were projected as a group of women who rather trust a flashing light than their own nurture instincts. I couldn’t resist making a comment on this:
‘Smartphones, second screens, one-year-olds playing with an iPad and watching YouTube-clips. You cannot imagine a modern family without the new media. In times like these, a baby intercom should just be seen as a significant tool to ease your mind. Nothing more and nothing less, and there shouldn’t be too big of a fuss about it. For babies needing some extra care, a baby intercom with a movement monitor can be a great invention. The ‘thank you’ notes of parents sent to suppliers are proof of this. Regularly we get the question of a supplier why everyone is making a fuss about it in the Netherlands. As if these types of baby intercoms would make parents lazy or overprotective. A baby intercom will never replace the nurturing eye of the parent. That parents are caring and insecure has always been the case. In the past, mothers, grandmothers and aunts were the one to turn to with questions. Now parents search for answers on the Internet. It is also a matter of good verbal instructions, as well as online. But please let parents decide for themselves what is good and what is not for their own children. They are mature enough for that.’
So now you know how I feel about this subject. I only used the baby intercom now and then myself, most of the time when I was visiting the neighbours for a minute. There was always noise on and sometimes I even heard sounds from another house and yes, I trusted my own gut feeling. But back then, all baby intercoms worked the same way and current technologies didn’t exist yet… That is why I like to see this innovation: The BabyPing! A wireless baby intercom where you can hear and see the baby, using today’s already existing technology: the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. This new Wi-Fi baby intercom is easy to install and to use. There is no need for a computer, everything can be done directly from the iOS device and the free app. Via a full screen you can watch the baby (even at night) and something else very useful: you can make pictures with it and safe them!