It is a universal truth; being a parent is an exhausting job and all those sleep-deprived mothers and fathers would sound that. Those few hours when your bundle of joy sleeps is the only time when parents get to relax and clean the messy room which was once a pretty nursery. You let your baby sleep peacefully and maintain utter silence in your house. However, while doing daily chores, you are alerted by a sound and rush to the nursery to check on your baby and wham! Your heavy steps on the floorboard are exactly what wakes up the baby and a shrieking voice pierces your eardrums. To prevent this from happening and give parents a stress-free couple of hours, several companies came up with a brilliant solution – Baby monitors.
Before you swipe your credit card to buy a baby monitor, here’s a tip, you may not need one. A just-woken up baby’s load is enough for parents to rush to the nursery. However, the invention of baby monitory is absolute bliss for those who like to sit on a porch or want to Netflix & chill for few hours, but still, want to ensure that baby has not gotten her foot stuck in the crib bars. The rise in the number of employed parents and surge in online retail has boosted the demand for baby monitors.
According to a research firm, the global baby monitor market is projected to register a CAGR of 8.5% during the period 2015–2020. While the demand is increasing, the number of options has equally skyrocketed. If you have asked Google regarding which baby monitor is the best, you will know that there are a plethora of baby monitors and choosing one could be as overwhelming as handling a month-old crying kid. There are baby monitors with radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and some even are paired with smart apps.
Major types of baby monitors
There are several options for video baby monitors and the right one is not the one with the best feature, but the one that is best suitable for your lifestyle and budget. Following are the three major type in the video baby monitors:
1. Handheld monitors
These are the device that comes to mind when we picture a baby monitor. The user positions a camera near a baby’s crib or in the nursery and one can watch from the handheld device. Such monitors are perfect for those who have hired babysitter or grandparents are taking care of child and parents can watch what their infant is doing.
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2. Smartphone monitors
Smartphone baby monitors offer video and audio footage of your child through an app on the user’s mobile, enabling parents to watch over the baby from any location, even if the baby’s room is as far as a continent away. Such monitors are perfect for those parents who have to travel frequently.
3. Smart monitors
There is a range of baby monitors that are equipped with innovative technologies and capable of measuring baby’s vitals such as breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and heart rate. Such measured vitals are sent on an app on your smartphone that comes with a device. Moreover, it offers audio and video footage via an app, similar to smartphones and handheld baby monitors.
What to look for before buying a baby monitor?
Every baby monitor is equipped with one or more features and functions, but no device could fulfill all the criteria set by. However, here are some of the features that you must look for before you buy:
- High-resolution camera.
- Two-way audio.
- Seamless and secure internet connection.
- Night vision.
- Camera pan and tilt abilities.
- Instant alerts if the baby wakes up.
- Easy to install set up.
- Temperature display.
Recent advancements in baby monitors industry
1. Google to launch a novel baby monitor
Google has been one step ahead in every industry and baby monitor’s industry is not an exception. Recently, Google introduced a tech-savvy baby monitor that alerts parents even before the baby wakes up. The device uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict when would the baby wake up. As per Google, the new technology is leveraging AI to ensure the safety of the child while easing out parents. Moreover, the device is programmed to detect the child’s non-auditory discomfort state (NADS) and would inform parents or caretakes at least 10 minutes prior before the child wakes up.
According to recently published documents from Google, the new device uses eye-tracking tech that could differentiate whether the child is sleeping or not. Moreover, with AI at disposable, the audio and video streaming could help detect a baby’s behavior comparing it with a database of standard patterns.
The AI would track the baby’s movements and noises and based on this, it would alert parents if the baby appears uncomfortable. Moreover, the program would consider the baby’s posture. Often parents are alerted by their child’s cry, however, there are various cases when the infant is in distress situation and might not show it in any form of a cry. For instance, when babies are awake, they move around and get tangled or chocked, which hardly makes any noise. On the other, Google’s baby monitor could alert parents regarding their baby’s security at all times.
2. Motorola launches new baby monitory at CES
This year’s Consumer Technology Association (CES) was an absolute delight as it launched several new products from innovative drones to electric cars to baby monitors. During CES, Motorola, the American telecommunication company, introduced Halo baby monitor that incorporated a smart camera, a health-tracking baby bed insert.
If you take a glance at its specifications, the baby monitor could attach to crib or bed for an overhead view of the child. It caters to a 1080p camera, including an IR night vision up to 10 meters. Moreover, it offers two-way audio which is activated when motion or audio is sensed. Parents need to use the Hubble app to view the camera’s feed and respond to alerts.
The best and unique part of Halo is that the device comes with a ring that glows a soft light and projects scenes on the ceiling. Moreover, the baby monitor has a feature of playing lullabies or recording through Halo’s speakers. With the features and Motorola’s warranty, the Halo is a perfect bit for new parents.
3. BT launches voice-controlled baby monitor
BT, UK’s well-known company, recently launched the country’s first voice-controlled baby monitor that is connected to both Google Assistant and Alexa. The company has offered a variety of smart home products and a baby monitor is the most welcomed addition. The device offers 2.8” as well as 5” color video screen and enables parents or caretakers to ask virtual assistants to play lullaby, monitors and report back on the temperature of the baby’s room, and turn off the motion detection as per choices.
With BT’s new baby monitor, parents can watch live streaming of their baby and capture photos or record directly from the camera of the device. This enables parents to cherish and share those special moments with family and friends. Along with this, users can take back to the child to be a part of the bedtime routine or storytelling even if they are away from home.
4. Pampers launches smart diapers
Who imagined that there would be a time when parents could track their baby’s pee? Pampers recently announced it would launch a smart diapers system called Lumi. As per the announcement, Lumi offers two reusable activity sensors and two packs of carefully designed diapers that track room temperature and humidity so that parents could better understand their child’s development at all times. The user needs to attack the reusable sensor to the diaper. The sensor comes with a battery of about three months. It can monitor the child’s sleep patterns and alert parents via the app.
Although many believe the technology is overkill and making parents more reliable on technology unnecessarily. But, the companies in the market have invested big bucks on the technology as it could make parenting much easier. This diaper-tech war is not new. Pampers’ market competitor, Huggies has already launched a smart diaper that monitors a baby’s poop and pee in Korea. They would soon target the U.S. market.
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Apart from these innovations, the market already has many novel baby monitors, considering every concern of new parents and babies. In fact, this year’s CES was bliss for the baby monitor industry. From well-established companies to startups, several companies boasted their new baby monitors. In fact, a Los Angeles-based smart home startup Miku also entered the market, unveiling Miku Baby Monitor. Miku uses AI and machine learning technology to develop a highly detailed health portrait of the baby.
The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Eric White, decided to improve existing baby monitors after experiencing troubles of parenting himself. The baby monitor keeps track of a baby’s breathing, sleeping patterns, sound, and motions. It also monitors other external factors such as room temperature and humidity. The device comes with a quad-core processor from the likes of Qualcomm. It has the tamper-resistant crypto chip that keeps the data secure.
The thing is there is no lack of creativity in the R&D, especially if you are willing to get past the first few challenges. Innovative products such as Miku, Halo, and Lumi have already made a mark on people’s minds with its versatile capabilities. Of course, every new, additional technology costs a bit more than traditional devices. However, there is a chance that these companies would keep parent’s budgets in mind and help sleep-deprived parents. Eventually, these devices are coming to rule the market. Till then, happy parenting!
This article is written by Swamini Kulkarni. She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and works as a content writer. She is deeply fascinated by technological advancements and the trending topic in the world. When she is not glued to the computer, she loves to read, travel, and spend time thinking about how she could read and travel more often.