Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Rigging Up Baby

timothy posted about a year ago | from the your-papoosilometer-is-nearly-out-of-battery dept.

Stats 117

theodp writes "Over at Fast Company, Rebecca Greenfield explores the rise of extreme baby monitoring. 'In the imminent future,' writes Greenfield, 'any curious parent with an iPhone will have access to helpful analytics, thanks to the rise of wearable gadgets for babies. Following the success of self-trackers for grown-ups, like Jawbone and Fitbit, companies like Sproutling, Owlet, and Mimo want to quantify your infants.' Devices connect to a baby via boot, anklet, or onesie, and record heart rate, breathing patterns, temperature, body position, and the ambient conditions of the room. While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents, Greenfield reports the real holy grail is the data garnered from tracking, which some companies plan to share with researchers. 'We're creating the largest data set of infant health data,' says Owlet co-founder Jordan Monroe."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What happens when the App crashes? (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about a year ago | (#45449223)

Unlike a basic $35 baby-monitor, the $250 Owlet bootie and accompanying app can alert parents if anything serious has gone wrong, like if a kid stops breathing, or if his heart stops beating.

This XKCD [xkcd.com] comes to mind for some reason.

Babymonitor App, 4.0 stars, 4 reviews
Three five star reviews, then one one star review. "App did not warn me when baby died."

Want a slightly more serious take on it?

For the first 10 months of her life, her mother, Yasmin, kept detailed records of Elle's sleep patterns, feedings, and diaper changes, noting the data points with a pencil and paper on a clipboard. A few months in, she digitized the logs, graphed the data, and became a more knowledgeable parent.

Unfortunately for the Lucero family's sleeping habits, Yasmin never found a definitive answer. Per the data, Elle was just fussy.

That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (2, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45449243)

The baby will get a life time GOP black list under there health insurance plan

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45449341)

Lawyers are already rubbing their hands.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (4, Insightful)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#45449721)

That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth, and every parent knows it. If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

I have a two-year old daughter. From the first night, we monitored her breathing using one of those boards you put under the mattress. While this will never prevent a baby from dying, it will alert a parent when a baby has stopped breathing, so CPR can be applied and 911 called. It might just save the life of a baby. We have had a few actual alarms*, which were later attributed by the pediatrician to the low timeout on the device: it screams after 20 seconds without movement. Apparently, my little girl would sometime just stop breathing for a short while if she was in a very deep sleep. She hated the thing, and as soon as she was physically able, she would just shut the thing down on her own (quite funny to see on the cam, those little fingers slowing finding the button).

When my daughter was 6 months old, friends became parent of a baby girl. During the first night in the hospital, that girl actually stopped breathing, turned blue and was subsequently resuscitated. After a week in NICU she was released. Needless to say, our friends immediately purchased the same device that I used.

One can argue that these devices have little use other than helping parents sleep, knowing they'd be alarmed if something happens. Even if that's the case, trust me, it is money well spent. As a new parent, there are a ton of things that you'll be concerned about and this just helps easy your mind.


* The amount of alarms we've had because my wife took her out of the crib for nursing and forgot to turn the damn thing off.. Well... That's a bit higher.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (5, Informative)

swamp_ig (466489) | about a year ago | (#45450953)

One can argue that these devices have little use other than helping parents sleep, knowing they'd be alarmed if something happens. Even if that's the case, trust me, it is money well spent. As a new parent, there are a ton of things that you'll be concerned about and this just helps easy your mind.

Paediatricians don't recommend the use of these devices. They haven't been shown to decrease the risk of anything. They tend to produce false alarms, causing a hell of a lot of parent anxiety, and which may contribute to post-natal depression (which has got a well established link to infant death).

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#45451305)

Paediatricians don't recommend the use of these devices. They haven't been shown to decrease the risk of anything. They tend to produce false alarms, causing a hell of a lot of parent anxiety, and which may contribute to post-natal depression (which has got a well established link to infant death).

We've discussed the use with our pediatrician, and she was fairly neutral about it. They do indeed produce false alarms now and then and I have found myself from deep asleep to wide awake in my daughter's room a couple of times, after my beloved misses forgot to turn the damn thing off when nursing.

That said, the alarm did also go off on a few occassions where my daughter was somewhat unresponsive and blue/grey-ish. Did it save my daughter from certain death? Most likely not. Did it alert us to an unhealthy state of our little princess? Most definitely yes. We know for a fact that she was not breathing for at least 20 seconds, and that she was deep, deep asleep.

I'm not saying that everyone should go out and buy it. But we've turned our device off only a few weeks ago when my daughter turned 2 and I we've slept a lot better knowing that there was some kind of monitoring going on.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (2)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45452039)

The problem isn't with parents that already pay attention to their infants. Monitoring in this case is probably going overboard, unless the infant has some type of condition that would require this level of monitoring. If said condition exists, would not the pediatrician want the infant in the hospital for better monitoring in addition to almost immediate medical care?

The real issues I see with this are the parent(s) that don't pay much attention. The monitoring won't help when the adults are stoned, drunk, whoring, or what ever else some parents do. These are the people that may feel safer doing wrong things, to the detriment of the infant. It helps neglecting situations become more neglecting. It's an excuse for it in fact, I can already see law suits by shitty parents for dead infants.

I read above that someone logged and graphed feeding, sleeping, dirty diapers, etc.. and that those logs and graphs helped them be better parents. It was not the logs and graphs, it was the fact that they were paying attention to the child and trying to be involved that made them better parents. Electronic monitoring items like in TFA don't help help people be better parents. Being involved, paying attention to the child's needs, helping them learn, that is what makes a good parent.

The last point I am concerned with, is if any studies have been done to determine growth impact from these monitors. We already know that certain levels of certain waves are harmful to development. How will these impact "normal" development of infants?

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#45451241)

Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth

I could think of quite a few things that are quite a bit more fragile. Not to say that you shouldn't be careful with newborns, but I think this is going a little bit over the top, and would probably cause the parent much more stress then it would relieve. I have 3 kids myself, and personally, I even found the sound only baby monitor a little annoying.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#45452835)

A mother and her money are soon parted in the name of "keep the child safe".

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45451707)

Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth, and every parent knows it. If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

Actually, babies are amazingly resilient. After all, they are entrusted to incompetent, clueless, self centered, young, just-barely adults, and seem to survive at alarming rates.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#45453617)

If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

Is there software that does that ? I mean as a new parent, there are times when the little one won't sleep, or shits in creative ways, or cries, or refuses to eat, etc... My wife writes done when she breastfeeds and others things, but I find it impossible to make sense of the data. Is there software where you can put vague entries like 'mother ate beans at lunch', 'baby nearly exploded at 18:00' and it finds correlations if there are any, possibly knowing a bit of physiology. Personal health monitoring software ? I don't know what those could be called.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449823)

Perhaps Yasmin didn't account for all the variables.
The most obvious ones that won't show up in sleeping data is what woke the baby up.
Did it shit itself?
Was there a loud noise?
Was it hungry?
Did it get cold?
Was it too hot?
Was it sick?
Did it have reflux?

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45450213)

Was the monitoring equipment uncomfortable?

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

Chuq (8564) | about a year ago | (#45450955)

A Heisenberg baby monitor.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45452883)

Better that than Schrödinger's baby monitor.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a year ago | (#45449943)

That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

The only pattern you can discern is that of the parent's OCD need to gather data and a strong belief that individuals are merely the sum of their data points.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45451611)

There's an unfortunate truth that new parents and the makers of expensive baby monitors like to ignore. If your baby goes into cardiac arrest and you're not in a hospital already, then the baby is going to die no matter when you're alerted.

Anyway, those monitors for newborns are supposed to be monitoring against SIDS, and there's evidence that SIDS isn't real anyway. [npr.org] The incidence of SIDS diagnosis is pretty low, and taking such simple steps as nothing in the crib besides the kid, not smoking, and on their backs reduces it to almost unheard of. So I don't think the monitor failing is really that big of a safety issue.

I'm still going to use one of those heartbeat monitors though. I'd lie awake at night and think about how horrible it would be to go in in the morning to find a dead baby. The false alarms from rolling off the sensor are less nerve-racking.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | about a year ago | (#45453905)

This is why we had one really. Do I honestly think the thing is going to save my kids life? Not really. What it did do however was allow my wife and I to go to sleep ourselves instead obsessively looking at the baby monitor trying to determine if she was still breathing through that. It was more of a hack to work around our own insanity really. When I think back on all the piles of weird baby stuff we own that we barely used, that device actually seemed like a bargain at $80-100.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45452183)

For the first half year or so we also kept a paper records. Started that a few weeks after the baby was born.

It mostly served as a short term reminder for us. When I came home from work, I could instantly check on what happened. Latest feed, latest diaper change, sleep that day, those things are most important to know. Helped a lot in general care, knowing what happened during the day, without having to bother my wife with it, hoping she remembered well.

And for my wife to remember which side to start nursing first - for proper milk production you have to alternate which breast to nurse your baby.

Re:What happens when the App crashes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45452323)

When I came home from work, I could instantly check on what happened. Latest feed, latest diaper change, sleep that day, those things are most important to know. Helped a lot in general care, knowing what happened during the day, without having to bother my wife with it, hoping she remembered well.

And for my wife to remember which side to start nursing first - for proper milk production you have to alternate which breast to nurse your baby.

LOL, sounds like you didn't put much faith in your wife's mothering instincts...

Roly-Poly! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449249)

I know this will probably get lost in the comments but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

Re:Roly-Poly! (1)

Rhinobird (151521) | about a year ago | (#45449405)

How do you suppose your vegital desires will show up in the data?

Re:Roly-Poly! (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | about a year ago | (#45449881)

I think I'll have to do the same if my wife makes me wear one of these to work again under my willy warmer

What's wrong with gathering data? (1)

Svartalfar (867908) | about a year ago | (#45449257)

I actually think this could be a great thing. As long as insurance companies or other companies cannot link the data with who the baby is for profiling purposes, this could be a great way to keep parents informed about their child and also help us study possible causes for SIDS or other infant issues. Besides all the research benefits are the possible lives saved. I have had a couple friends who fell asleep with their baby and their baby suffocated on their chest. If the other parent is in the room and an alert goes off that their child has stopped breathing that could be a life saved.

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#45449367)

For every child that has been 'saved' by having a monitor go off when the child stopped breathing, thousands of parents have had the shit scared out of them for no reason whatsoever, have run the perfectly normal child to the ER (risking a serious automobile accident) or have simply been worn down staring at the display. And these are with kids who have some significant risk of apnea in the first place.

Placing these things in the general pediatric population is going to be fun. And the data will be so heterogeneous that it will be useless scientifically.

It's just a money grab, as usual.

there is a "sceince" of false warning tolerance (2)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#45449615)

The weathermen learned it first. People start ignoring tornado and hurricane warnings if there less 20% chance of it happening that day. Earthquake forecasters cant get anywhere near that accuracy.

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (2)

Xiph1980 (944189) | about a year ago | (#45449725)

Yup, reminds me very much of Tim Minchin's section on "How babies sleep"
(Tim Minchin - Ready For This [youtube.com] , ca. 2:05 - 3:48)

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (1)

Svartalfar (867908) | about a year ago | (#45449993)

For every child that has been 'saved' by having a monitor go off when the child stopped breathing, thousands of parents have had the shit scared out of them for no reason whatsoever, have run the perfectly normal child to the ER (risking a serious automobile accident) or have simply been worn down staring at the display. And these are with kids who have some significant risk of apnea in the first place.

Placing these things in the general pediatric population is going to be fun. And the data will be so heterogeneous that it will be useless scientifically.

It's just a money grab, as usual.

People running their child to the doctor for no reason is going to happen with or without data. At the very least, there are some parents out there who can extrapolate from data and realize that nothing is wrong with their child when they otherwise might think there is. As with any technology its going to be misused by a few but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have it. If the data is useless scientifically, they won't make any money with it and the issue will solve itself. I am not a researcher though so i cannot make that judgment.

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45452081)

People running their child to the doctor for no reason is going to happen with or without data.

A certain level of that is considered "normal", especially for first time parents. It would only be abnormal if they have a above normal level of paranoia, which devices like these help to achieve.

As to the data, every human is unique. My nieces and nephews had absolutely nothing in common with each other as infants, and my kid was nothing like them. They all had slightly different schedules, ate slightly different amounts, slept slightly different schedules, had varying nap times and lengths, grew at slightly different rates, etc.. etc.. etc...

The "science" from the data gathering would get someone at most, a generalization. A generalization which matches what we already have in thousands of parenting books from thousands of studies.

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45451585)

Exactly. Home monitoring has generally never been shown to be beneficial for at-risk children (excluding a few rare cares), and certainly not normal ones. Furthermore, there are FAR, FAR more false alarms than true ones since the manufacturer won't risk it not alarming in a true emergency, and non-invasive monitoring is terribly inaccurate. Nobody in the home gets any sleep, everyone is stressed out, and divorce rates skyrocket.

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449387)

or just, you know, don't go to sleep with the baby in a dangerous position

this is just something for the data fiends. the same kind of people who want to keep track of every heart beat or every degree change in their home
they love spending hours poring over the data instead of the dozen of quick fixes they can take to fix whatever problem they think they have

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449809)

But no one knows all the causes for SIDS. So apart from killing a bunch of babies, how else do you propose to study it?

Re:What's wrong with gathering data? (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45449755)

Next up, getting the child ready for preschool will start to resemble the checklist for a spacewalk. By the time those poor kids get to the 1st grade they'll end up wearing a full bodysuit of sensors and think having worried parents burst in to the class room several times a day is normal. By high school, they'll be paralyzed by the fear that they could drop dead any second now.

Insurance Requirement (2)

cosm (1072588) | about a year ago | (#45449261)

Tinfoil hat time! So in 40 years, these will be required by insurers to screen for pre-existing conditions!?!!? No historical data on early-stage developmental physiology, no 95% subsidy off government single-payer coverage cost...

vote GOP and pre-existing conditions = go to locku (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45449781)

vote GOP and pre-existing conditions = go to lockup with you want to see a doctor

Re:Insurance Requirement (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449803)

Fine by me. Healthcare is free, right? It is where I come from.

Re:Insurance Requirement (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#45449817)

Tinfoil hat time! So in 40 years, these will be required by insurers to screen for pre-existing conditions!?!!? No historical data on early-stage developmental physiology, no 95% subsidy off government single-payer coverage cost...

What about using it to screen people for jobs and other things. I'm sure physiological conditions can be inferred, even if not accurately (kind of like a credit score -- or as part of your credit score).

Also, why does it make you paranoid to want to have a private life? Think about that: It's bizarre that the discussion has been framed this way. People have desired privacy since the beginning of time; it's natural.

Re:Insurance Requirement (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45450227)

For that matter, creditors don't like people dropping dead with unsecured debt. Good luck getting credit if the data collected when you were 3 months old showed some anomaly.

Over-monitoring is problematic (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | about a year ago | (#45449297)

While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents,

I would argue the opposite is more likely to happen. Most parents are not qualified to properly interpret these data, and over-monitoring can cause excessive anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Re:Over-monitoring is problematic (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45449459)

That was my first thought as well. Babies make a lot of weird, though normal, noises. Just listening to them sleep can be anxiety-inducing. Was that gurgling normal, or a real problem? He stopped breathing agai...oh no, he's OK. What is that awful sound he's making?

Monitoring and interpreting even more data is going to be daunting and nail-biting. Unless they're sick and need the monitoring, I would not recommend monitoring healthy babies.

Pretty incomplete (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45449301)

What, no burp duration or fecal viscosity histograms? Pathetic.

Re:Pretty incomplete (4, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449791)

Or plotting the fecal colour change that happens from new born, to breast fed, bottle fed, vegetables, meat...
Just don't try plotting the smell, because once you get meat in them you'll need to change the scale to log.

Re:Pretty incomplete (3, Informative)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45450197)

Ever find a bunch of re-hydrated raisins in a diaper? Talk about a "The FUCK???" moment...

Re:Pretty incomplete (3, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45452201)

My kid used to love sweet corn, eating it big time.

The kernels would come out virtually unchanged. Really made me think you could simply pick them out, wash them off, and return them for a second round.

Never actually did that, though.

Re:Pretty incomplete (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year ago | (#45453435)

Some animals like rabbits will actually eat them again

But yeah, you have to chew corn a bit.

Re:Pretty incomplete (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45453481)

I've never seen my rabbits do it. I have seen my guinea pigs do so regularly (but only very fresh, straight from the anus). I've been told that this is indeed to give the food a second chance, as digesting plant matter is hard and there is a lot of nutritional value in their droppings.

Re:Pretty incomplete (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#45453571)

...return them for a second round

Rabbits do that [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Pretty incomplete (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45452061)

That will be in BM (Baby Monitor) 2.0

Dang, I have BM and a "number two" reference in that short of a sentence!!

Re:Pretty incomplete (2)

kmahan (80459) | about a year ago | (#45450499)

It is more fun to do an analysis of what goes in vs. what comes out.

Beep...Your baby is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449321)

Please try our funeral planning app!

"helpful" analytics (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45449333)

The premise that all analytics are helpful is false. Sometimes data is just data.

Re:"helpful" analytics (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#45449377)

Sometimes data is just garbage.

Re:"helpful" analytics (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45449403)

Usually data is garbage.

FTFY

Re:"helpful" analytics (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45449807)

Are you saying that staring at a screen full of numbers isn't somehow intrinsically enlightening, even when you don't know what the numbers mean, and have no idea what they should look like, so you can't even say that they don't look right, much less anything more enlightened than that?

Heresy!

Re:"helpful" analytics (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#45450323)

Sometimes data is just data.

But you have to be careful because sometimes he turns out to be Lore.

f*uck3r (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449439)

troubles of WDalnut

Helicopter parents ftw! (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#45449443)

Oh how did we ever survive without constantly knowing our kids' whereabouts? Do you remember the times? When we were scared shitless because little Timmy could not be tracked down via GPS? When kids actually could have secrets from their parents? Nothing spells "I love you, dear child" like calling when he's making out with his first love.

But I see the upside of it. Kids that are constantly monitored, prodded and nagged by parents will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance, and they will early in their life start to develop counter strategies.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | about a year ago | (#45449617)

This only happens for the first kid. Subsequent kids usually don't get as much scrutiny.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#45450233)

This only happens for the first kid. Subsequent kids usually don't get as much scrutiny.

Exactly right.

However, because they're having kids later and later in life, more and more of my friends are having one kid or twins - So this sort of thing becomes the norm, not the exception.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#45451345)

That's just the better-educated folks who wait to have kids. For every one of them you probably have ten or more undereducated teenagers whose parents believe in abstinence-only sex ed.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449693)

...

But I see the upside of it. Kids that are constantly monitored, prodded and nagged by parents will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance, and they will early in their life start to develop counter strategies.

More likely they will be completely indoctrinated to accept it as a natural state.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#45449877)

Unlikely. I am such a child. And you'll get my privacy from my cold, dead hands.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449761)

will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance

Or they'll grow to expect it and will seek out more and more surveillance as they get older.

Re:Helicopter parents ftw! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449767)

It's all good psychological training for the acceptance of general 24 hour surveillance. After all, it it is good for little Jimmie, it certainly is good for Jimmie's father. It is well known that children that are abused are usually abused by their parents or someone they know. So think of the children and surveil Jimmie's father - the mother too, just to be safe.

Google will like this (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#45449457)

I wouldn't be surprised at subliminal ads being targeted to toddlers who might play with tablets, so that they grow up being better 'consumers'. Brave new world.

What am I missing here? (3, Interesting)

ImOuttaHere (2996813) | about a year ago | (#45449467)

Why do people "need" these things? Humans have been born and grown to adulthood for, oh, now many hundreds of thousands of years without the aid of monitors? Oh. Wait. I just responded to my own question. Human monitors are no longer valid. That's it! So... _this_ is what happens when you don't want to be with your child... and when you have "better" things to do, eh? Sad. Really sad, if that's the case.

Re:What am I missing here? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449735)

Infant mortality has gone down over the centuries though.
Modern housing is also a lot better blocking sound. A basic baby monitor is quite handy. you can actually do things during the 20 hours your baby is sleeping without keeping their door open.

Re:What am I missing here? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45452235)

Infant mortality is primarily down thanks to better hygiene at home, and vaccinations and other medical care.

And as you say yourself, it's been over the past centuries (well, mostly the last century). Electronic baby monitors only came when most infant mortality had been solved already.

Now of course the US is known to be behind the rest of the developed world in infant mortality rates... maybe on that side of the pond they can actually make a difference.

Re:What am I missing here? (4, Insightful)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | about a year ago | (#45449859)

First, you seem to be seeing these devices as replacements for proper parenting. I'm not so sure that's what they're for. They're really just an improved version of the baby monitor, which is in turn an improved version of sleeping near the baby's room and praying you'll wake up when something's wrong. That's all. There are some bells, whistles, statistics and graphs, but it's just a fancy baby monitor, in the same way the Nest is just a fancy thermostat.

Second, there's quite a bit of literal survivorship bias in your comment. Most people you've met haven't unexpectedly kicked the bucket when they were a few months old, but that you don't know any doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The good news is that less babies die nowadays [wikipedia.org] than there used to - the infant mortality rate used to be six times as high back in the fifties. It's still too high, though, which is why we do need devices like these.

They look like cutesy cuddly turtles and nice onesies, but they're medical devices. They assist parents in the same way a baby monitor assists parents. Help the parents, help the baby, reduce the statistic. Is the decline in infant mortality only because of the baby monitor? No. But if you, like me, see it as a medical device, I hope you'll agree that everyone should get one, not only sad, lazy people that suck at parenting.

Humans have grown to adulthood for hundreds of thousands of years without heart monitors, thermometers, incubators, X-ray machines, CAT scanners, dyalisis machines and all that as well - and I don't see you suggesting to do without those.

Re:What am I missing here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45452453)

As he said in another comment, we have better hygiene, vaccinations, and other medical care. I don't know if baby monitors help, but I'd sure like to know whether they do or not.

Wow, how odd (4, Insightful)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45449471)

The baby's picture is on the main screen on the phone, the phone mimics/displays all of the baby's vital signs, and gives readings on all baby-related matters... in this way, the device is the baby. However, we're going to depend on the same parent that can't care for the baby itself, to monitor the device that's monitoring the baby? How odd indeed.

Maybe they can then sell little baby clothes to put on your iPhone.

Re:Wow, how odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449683)

The baby's picture is on the main screen on the phone, the phone mimics/displays all of the baby's vital signs, and gives readings on all baby-related matters... in this way, the device is the baby. However, we're going to depend on the same parent that can't care for the baby itself, to monitor the device that's monitoring the baby? How odd indeed.

Maybe they can then sell little baby clothes to put on your iPhone.

it's just a tool. understand being independent.
never an anonymous coward,i'm searchable
slayerwulfe

Re:Wow, how odd (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45449835)

The baby's picture is on the main screen on the phone, the phone mimics/displays all of the baby's vital signs, and gives readings on all baby-related matters... in this way, the device is the baby. However, we're going to depend on the same parent that can't care for the baby itself, to monitor the device that's monitoring the baby? How odd indeed. Maybe they can then sell little baby clothes to put on your iPhone.

Just think of it as a Tamagotchi; but connected to some obnoxious squirmy thing that smells funny, eventually turns into a teenager, does some drugs, and has to be sent to college.

Re:Wow, how odd (1)

glavenoid (636808) | about a year ago | (#45449973)

In some dystopian near-future, the company will produce a clause in the TOS that stipulates this "virtual baby" you speak of can be "adopted" by other "parents" for a nominal "fee".

Re:Wow, how odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45450115)

What the fuck are you talking about?

Tracked and monitored from cradle to grave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449477)

Seriously, is this the direction we're going in? I think I'm going to throw up.

Parents, please: Don't "share" the data from this sort of device with any third-party companies.

Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449511)

Yes, now we can extend the concept of a pre-existing condition straight down to infancy!

Healthcare will not see any improvements until the concept of heath insurance is thrown away.

Re:Sweet (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year ago | (#45449591)

There are many genetic conditions for which it's known beforehand.
Two parents with the 'right' condition can lead to a child who is likely to go insane before age 30.
(Huntingtons Disease, for example).

All sorts of in principle useful stuff for treatment can be pulled out of 'big data' like this.
There was recent work tying in eye-gaze to caregivers reducing over time in infancy with severe autism.
If children could be accurately diagnosed at age 1, treatments (in the form for example of guided play)
concentrating on strengthening the weakening response may result in an adult who is a productive member
of society.
(Or at least one that can post on /.)

Ender's Game monitor (2)

iONiUM (530420) | about a year ago | (#45449553)

We're almost there. Awesome.

The Final Cut's Zoe Implant (4, Interesting)

jdogalt (961241) | about a year ago | (#45449743)

In addition,"The Final Cut" is a gem of a Robin Williams movie on this subject many may not have seen-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Cut_(2004_film) [wikipedia.org] (below is wikipedia summary)

The Final Cut is a 2004 film written and directed by Omar Naim. It stars Robin Williams ... ... The story takes place in a near future in which people can pay to have their babies implanted with memory chips. These "Zoe Implants", developed by EYE Tech company, record every moment of their lives, so that they may be viewed by loved ones after one's death. The plot centers on Alan Hakman, a "cutter", whose job it is to edit the Zoe footage into a feature-film length piece, called a "Rememory".

The Final Cut is about subjectivity, memory and history; posing the question, "If history is what is written and remembered, then what happens when memories are edited and rewritten?"

The film won the award for best screenplay at the Deauville Film Festival and was nominated for best film at the Catalonian International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.

OH My (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449589)

This will drive the parents up the wall in no time.
It may have a beneficial effect, parents sane enough to avoid it might have a better chance
of raising sane kids.

Location & other data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45449637)

No way in hell will I ever buy or use services that track my kids' anything unless that data is 100% controllable by me and me alone.

Hear that for-profits?! Keep your fucking noses out of my child's life until they can decide for themselves. That goes for Facebook & the like as well - seems completely irresponsible for any parent to post their child online to me. The powers of the Internet want one thing and one thing only: to invade your life in every way possible as long as there's a buck in it.

Be responsible. Don't allow your children to become victims of the unknown digital future if you have the choice.

SIDS (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#45449663)

Wife is pregnant. We've gone to a few "baby" classes. They talk about the "unknowns" of what causes SIDS and all the things people "think" cause it (no real proof or idea). But every one outright dismisses the use of any monitoring to alert you if the baby stops breathing, because there is no proof it helps.

So, they have no proof to what causes SIDS, but since there are no studies saying that monitoring helps, don't waste your time with it?

Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

Re:SIDS (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449707)

I've heard of these mats you put on the bed that monitor breathing movement. Apparently giving you warning if your baby stops breathing, in the hope you can perform CPR.

I've also heard they give a lot of false positives, like when the baby rolls off the mat.

Never heard of one actually saving a baby's life though.

Re:SIDS (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45449797)

It's the studies that showed no benefit that convince people it's a waste of time.

Re:SIDS (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45449883)

Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

Monitoring isn't free (either in terms of instruments, operator attention, or reactions to false positives), so throwing some unvalidated mechanism at a group of deeply emotionally invested, and mostly statistically clueless, operators is pretty much certain to give them another thing to stress out about, but far less certain to provide either reduced mortality or even useful information.

There are a great many things that would be neat to look at if the cost of looking were lower; but there are a lot of low-probability events where the cost of looking (either in instruments, or in operator attention and sanity) is just too high to be worth the trouble.

Re:SIDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45450113)

Sometimes people die. It's tragic. And just because SIDS happen, does not mean that you can prevent it. You can only remove known hazards (like pillows), and that's it.

But we know that people that helicopter around their kids are the ones that really screw them up. And I'm not talking about psychological damage. Allergies and related autoimmune disorders. Autism is probably related to it too.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/1/5 [biomedcentral.com]

and plenty of others.

Re:SIDS (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45450427)

Wife is pregnant. We've gone to a few "baby" classes. They talk about the "unknowns" of what causes SIDS and all the things people "think" cause it (no real proof or idea). But every one outright dismisses the use of any monitoring to alert you if the baby stops breathing, because there is no proof it helps.

. . .

Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

As with everything, doing all the things that "might" work can make it harder to actually do the things that do work -- you're expending time, money, energy, etc. that could have gone somewhere else. You'll have plenty of real, actionable worries to choose from, so just get your regular checkups, vaccines, babyproofing, etc.

And don't forget to sign up the little one for the Princeton Review APGAR prep course. You don't want to get behind on those test scores, what with those competitive preschools and all.

Re:SIDS (1)

qbast (1265706) | about a year ago | (#45450619)

So, they have no proof to what causes SIDS, but since there are no studies saying that monitoring helps, don't waste your time with it? Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

How about my patent-pending anti-SIDS rock?

Remote parenting (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#45449671)

So one can now "be a parent" without having to actually be physically present and not even have to hire a body double? Awesome!

Re:Remote parenting (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45449921)

So one can now "be a parent" without having to actually be physically present and not even have to hire a body double? Awesome!

No, these implementations are clearly incomplete, 'Simple Newborn Management Protocol', they say; but it's all read-only. The MIBs look a bit thin, as well.

Until they fix that, you'll still need a supply of excuses for why it's always the junior admin's turn when you need to go poke the thing.

Wait a minute (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45449681)

They plan to sell the data collected to researchers.
Why do we have to pay so much more than manufacturing and distribution costs for the device then?

Re:Wait a minute (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45452249)

Because that's more money for the developers of course, what were you thinking?

Early Training! (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about a year ago | (#45450409)

Let's train our babies and kids to get used to being watched and monitored at all times. Then the next generation won't mind the NSA spying on us as much. Good work! SMH

The right time to remove the monitoring equipment? (1)

drolli (522659) | about a year ago | (#45450753)

If it follow the purpose of these devices you should leave them rigged up until they are 18.

Radio Collars (4, Funny)

notthepainter (759494) | about a year ago | (#45451035)

My ex-brother-in-law is a wildlife biologist. He's done a lot of field work. He told a story at Christmas a few decades back. He took his 7 year old son out hiking is some deep woods. Being concerned if something went wrong he put a radio tracking collar on him, just part of the stuff in his lab. I asked him how it worked. He deadpanned, "I hated shooting him with the tranquilizer dart from the helicopter." I almost lost my egg-nog.

Wow! I am not alone! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45451795)

Since our child was about 18 months old I have had extensive video monitor + computer analysis of her sleep. It was amazing.

Surprising things we have learned.

- Not uncommon for a child to be awake for 1 hour on some nights. (Happily stays in crib, just moves / looks around)
- Ideal bedtime has been between 5:30 - 6:30, any later and quality and length of nighttime sleep is greatly diminished. (Norm sleep is 11+ hours of sleep minus breaks)

The hardest thing about this tech is letting go, it's easy to get dependent on the data.

Calming effect? (1)

SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) | about a year ago | (#45453085)

My biggest gripe with all these monitoring system is the reasoning behind it: (from the post)

While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents...

In what I see around me the opposite is true. Woried parrents scramble to these kind of devices and often will have their condition aggrivated even when no real danger exists.
Don't get me wrong: if the docter has flagged you child as having a risk for e.g. crib death these things are a godsent. Problem is that everybody is buying them even when the baby is perfectly normal.

Funny (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year ago | (#45453565)

My wife and I have a daughter that had made it over 4 1/2 years so far with no baby monitor other than us checking on her periodically....

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?