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  • Baby Tech - cool gadgets for babies, kids and parents!

Welcome to Baby Tech!

In this ongoing update, we’ll fill you in on the latest in gear, gadgets, and new ideas that can make caring for your baby safer, more efficient, or more fun.

We also want to hear from you! Have you found a great gadget that’s helped you during pregnancy or parenting? Let me know, and we’ll share that idea with millions of our BabyNames.com readers. Email us!

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Baby-Gear maker makes $41 million

origami stroller 1We’ve covered the robot baby buggies made by 4moms here — and now you can look forward to more high-tech help from the small company, as it just won a $41 million investment.

The Wall Street Journal reports “the Pittsburgh startup is known for its Origami one-click easy-fold strollers that can charge your cell phone and rockers that use motion sensors and robotics,” and the “tech-savvy customer base includes actress Natalie Portman,” adds The Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Another one of its products, the mamaRoo infant car seat, is “designed to replicate the swaying and bouncing motions parents make to soothe their babies.” [We’ve covered those here and here, and a tub temperature device here.]

The firm was founded in 2005.
What’s next? “A self-installing infant car seat and a mini-stroller,” reports the Post-Gazette. 4moms CEO Robert Daley adds “4moms is a world leader at developing consumer robots that solve real problems for families. This investment allows us to continue our focus on new product development.”

One factor in the firms success? “Plunging prices of motion sensors, accelerometers and other tools vital to advanced robotics.”

Nanny Cam also detects pollution, creates visual diary

withing baby

“Need to keep an eye on your little one napping, while you enjoy diner with your friends in the living room?” asks electronics maker Withings. “Want to have him under your benevolent eye when you are on a business trip? Simply place the Withings Home in his bedroom. You can even launch a nightlight or lullaby remotely, even when you are away.”

There is no shortage of home surveillance and baby monitors — but Withings says its Home device combines facial-recognition powered video monitoring with environmental sensing to let you “achieve peace of mind knowing your living environment is safe, secure, and healthy.”

And it will make you a diary.

The 5-megapixel HD video camera has 135-degree wide-angle view, as well as night vision with a mechanical infrared switch. It’s ready to detect people, motion, and noise — and even recognize when your baby is crying.

The Home will also, like many modern monitors, send images and data to your phone with its own dedicated app. But the software is also set to work as something of a diary for you: “Each time Home detects a noteworthy event, it takes a photo and a 5 second video,’ the company says. “They are then uploaded and stored for 2 days, forming a Home Diary over time. Scroll through the diary to understand what happened in your home. See a photo or clip you would like to keep? Simply download it, free of charge.” (Longer term storage costs extra.) “Happiness feeds off of the fleeting moments of joy we share everyday,” the company adds. “Home seizes these special moments and creates a Diary on the fly. Scroll through the Timeline, go back in time and replay short video clips of all memorable events.”

Also, “contrary to common belief,” the company adds, “our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment.” Therefore the Home’s environmental sensors measure temperature, humidity and levels of Volatile Organic Compound1 (VOC) inside your home, “a strategic element of indoor air quality. VOCs are potentially harmful airborne organic chemicals originating. The chemicals are used to manufacture and maintain building materials, interior furnishing, cleaning products and personal care products. Short term exposure to high levels of VOC can cause some diseases such as headaches, irritation and asthma. Indoor VOC levels are typically 10 times higher than outdoor levels. Combined these compounds have both short and long-term detrimental effects on human and animal health. By alerting users to unhealthy changes in temperature, humidity or air quality, Home will give them the key data to help them build a healthier environment.”

The Home will sell for $219.

Busy new moms: why Vacuum when a seeing Robot can clean for you?

dyson eye

Why are we covering a vacuum cleaner on page about baby gear? Because the latest from the innovative Dyson company is not just a vacuum, but a robot — and while there have been robotic vacuums for years, this one has a camera onboard that sees in 360-degrees.

The Dyson 360 Eye uses the camera to navigate about your house. The camera views the room at a 45-degree angle, and takes 30 pictures per second. Those photos become a live map of the room.

It will sell next Spring; the price has not been announced. There’s more information here.

There’s an explanatory video here.

 

Track your ovulation and fertility with Glow

glow screens

Can you “Take control of your reproductive health” as the developer of Glow claims? A recent review of the free app on the Gizmodo technology site says: Yes, you can.

Glow says its will let you pinpoint your ovulation day and track your period with its “advanced proprietary algorithms and its ability to crunch vast amounts of data at multiple stages of the reproductive journey.”

The article on Gizmodo notes “actually made gathering information about cervical mucus (CM) pretty fun (well, as fun as it could be). Using the app was enjoyable. I’d tap in my temperature and other fertility cues during my morning Instagram-feed viewing. Later, I’d fill in basic health information about my day—exercise, alcohol consumption, energy—while riding the bus. (Now the app syncs with fitness trackers to import all that data as well.) When I didn’t log information, the app would ping me. But I didn’t need the reminders very often. I became diligent about tracking. My husband was able to download the app, too, and have access to all my information. Dare I say, it was almost fun.”

The complete review is here.

The company also offers Glow First, which it says is “the world’s first fertility funding community, for those wanting to have a baby as soon as possible.”

The free app is here.

 

 

Vivaldi interactive – Four Seasons music app

vivaldi

An interactive storybook for the iPad can foster a love of classical music in children of all ages. “Hear the beautiful music and get involved!” says developer Infinite Fermata.

The Four Seasons: A Vivaldi Storybook features a kid-friendly arrangement of one of the most beloved pieces of classical music, coupled with “loads of fun interactivity” with which children can make geese sing, or squirrels fly. There’s also art depicting animals and the natural world in all four seasons, and a “gentle wit and rich but simple language to encourage readers of all levels,” the developers say.
It’s $5 here.

Angelcare monitors movement and sound

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 7.35.25 PM

There are lots of audio and video baby monitors out there now, but the Angelcare does quite a bit more: it tracks movement with sensor pads you place under your baby’s mattress.angelcare monitor

It will sound an alarm when no movement is detected for 20 seconds.

It also monitors sound, with a range of 820 feet, “and eight channels to minimize interference,” the company says. There’s also a temperature display, and indicator lights.

The full system is $170 here.
The motion-only version is $65 here.

 

 

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