It's the middle of the night and you're woken by the sound of your baby crying over the monitor. It could be teething, it could be another nappy waiting to be changed, but sometimes you just don't know what the problem is.
But with the emergence of smarter, more advanced baby monitors, how you look after your young child around the clock has changed. Now, wearables are being used to collect hoards of biometric information, which is then beamed to a parent's smartwatch or smartphone to give them better insight into how their baby is feeling. Parents have never been more informed.
And looking to make its mark in the space and change how you keep an eye on your child is Lovey's – a baby monitoring system which features wearables for both parent and child, as well as a smart assistant to act as the hub for the entire package. It's currently going through funding on Indiegogo, with the trio available for an early bird price of $150 ahead of expected shipping in May.
"The problem with most wearable baby monitors is that they work with low Bluetooth, and they can't cover your entire house. Take something like Owlet as an example – sometimes if you go in the next room it won't work properly. We wanted to make something that's more reliable," says Eyad Abushaikha, one of Lovey's co-founders.
"One of our other co-founders has two kids – one is aged one and the other is aged four – and one day he woke up and discovered his son had a very high temperature. But obviously he didn't notice this until the morning. So that's when he started looking at trying to find a solution he could rely on to give him information about his child, whether he was sleeping, at work or even out of the country."
And for the past two years, the Washington D.C. startup has been working on just that: a more rounded approach to baby monitoring. This isn't just something which aims to give you peace at mind at night, instead merging a smart assistant – something it calls the Lovey Bridge – with the Lovey Baby Bear and and Lovey Linke wearables in order to track things around the clock.
The wearables track and provide information, while the speaker is used to set commands and learn about your child's behaviour using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
But what exactly is tracked through the wearables? Temperature, breathing, movement, body position, sound level, humidity, sleeping habits and even the sensor's proximity to the wearer's skin all form part of the tracking experience, with parents able to set standards for when they want to be alerted. For example, if the baby's temperature spikes to a certain level, Lovey's is able to send a message across to the user's smartphone, buzz the parent's Linke or sound on the Bridge.
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The tracking isn't limited to one child, either. Abushaikha says that the system is able to work with multiple children up to the age of five, with the wearable's design and tracking accuracy also being tested extensively in Germany over the past year.
And while the co-founder touts the more expansive connectivity within the home as one aspect in which the system is able to outlast its rivals, it also uses a coin cell battery that can last up to two years, the company says.
Lovey's isn't typical of most campaigns we come across in the crowdfunding circle, and not just because it's aiming to take a conventional piece of tech to places it hasn't been before.
While most projects head to backers in search of funds, Abushaikha indicated that the decision to head to Indiegogo (and soon Kickstarter as well) was primarily to gauge interest in the concept and to receive feedback from potential customers. Regardless of whether the campaign reaches its goal, the system will be monitoring babies after a launch in early summer.
And, in truth, we can see why it's already received financial backing before heading to crowdfunding platforms. The team itself hasn't worked on bringing a product to market before, but stress that every step of the manufacturing process, as well as smaller aspects such as refining the companion app, is well under control and ready to begin.
Naturally, as is the case with plenty of companies, big or small, bumps in the road can occur. But it appears as though this is one startup that could legitimately challenge the players that have established themselves over the past couple of years.
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