A baby wearable that monitors your baby’s vitals is a great idea. The idea is so great, in fact, that the product already exists. The Owlet Smart Sock is a nifty little wearable that allows parents to remotely monitor your baby’s vital signs and alerts you if anything is amiss. The technology, a small sock with an oximeter monitor, can track your baby’s heartbeat and their oxygen levels and will immediately alert you if something is wrong. The product has raised $1,850,000 seed funding on Angel.co.
Another wearable is Mimo, a smart baby monitor from Rest Devices. The Mimo is a little smart turtle that attaches to a special onesie, and tracks respiration, temperature, heart rate, and body temperature. Rest has raised $1.8 million.
And while the next big thing seems to be wearables to keep eyes on your baby at all times, the truth is that nothing can protect against one of the most common (and serious) threats to a newborn in the US: SIDS. But, according to one article by online daily news magazine Slate.com, these wearable devices are “playing on parents’ fears“. Without explicitly claiming to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS, these baby monitoring devices claim to provide reassurance to the parent against bad things happening to their baby when no one is watching them.
Does this mean that baby wearables are a useless endeavour?
Absolutely not! The common thread to all the baby monitors and wearables is to provide peace of mind to worried parents. Parenting isn’t easy, and there is a lot to think about. Sproutling has raised $2.7 million to date. Clearly, people are willing to pay for this peace of mind. Each monitor provides a clear dialogue: here is one less thing to worry about. Is your baby breathing? Yes! Great, go about your day. The point is to make a device that monitors the things that parents are interested in, without making any promises the product cannot keep.