Devon Biondi | VP, Strategy Services
June 26, 2014

Let a Sleeping Baby Lie


This post originally appeared on Mashery's Strategy Services team blog

As a recent first time mother, you can imagine that I have been inundated with advice; some good, some odd and, well, a few things in between. It’s fairly easy to drive yourself mad making sense of it all, but, like most things, I have been relying on my good ol’ iPhone for shortcuts and it hasn’t let me down. The technology around child rearing has made incredible advancements in the past couple of years. It seems every aspect of rearing a baby from conception to pregnancy to monitoring has progressed in leaps and bounds—and most of it can be controlled from your smartphone.  

If we flash back in time for a moment, the first baby monitor was invented in 1937 by the Zenith Radio Corporation as a reaction to the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932. It’s true; I can’t make this stuff up. It was a two-part set: the “Guardian Ear” transmitter, which was plugged in near the infant’s crib, and the “Radio Nurse”, which was placed with the caregiver. Unfortunately, it picked up quite a bit of unnecessary signals, so the monitor never became a must-have nursery item.  

Fast-forward to today and no nursery is complete without a video monitor, allowing panicky new parents to carefully monitor every noise and movement from their little one’s crib. Dropcam, which is not exclusively a baby monitor, but a wireless camera you can control from your smartphone, has taken it a step farther by not only allowing two-way talk, but also detecting any strange movements in your nursery. You can live stream to your phone as well as the web so that eager grandparents can always be spying checking in on you. I was lucky enough to receive one of these from my awesome co-workers and, with Dropcam’s beta API program, I am sure there will be lots of great mashups in the near future.

However, the monitoring advancements don’t stop there. At CES this year, our very own Intel announced that the Edison Chip would be used in the Mimo Baby Monitor. The Mimo is a onesie that you put on your infant to monitor breathing, temperature, the baby’s movements and sleep cycle. The starter kit has a hefty price tag of $200, but, for peace of mind that your little one is safe, that seems like a steal to me. While there are other similar devices out there, such as the still-in-stealth-mode Sproutling and the slightly less well-designed Owlet, it seems that video monitors may soon be a thing of the past. Again, as a new, slightly paranoid parent, the ability to monitor every aspect of my sleeping infant sounds amazing, but I’ll report back after few months with my little one.