Parents are busy. They’re stressed. Above all, they’re concerned for the well-being of their children. As it turns out, they have plenty to worry about. Of the six million children under the age of 15 who passed away in 2018, nearly half of those deaths were preventable. That same year, 53 children died because they were left unattended in a hot car. The year prior, 900 infants needlessly suffocated in their cribs.
These are solvable problems. Through the miracle of modern technology, these preventable tragedies may one day become forgotten horrors. Connected electronics are tackling these issues and making the lives of parents a bit easier. At CES 2020, connected parenting was a pervasive theme and safety was among the primary concerns.
Connected Car Seat: CoPilot Automatic Alert System
This easy-to-install system doesn’t rely on the internet to relay safety information. The Car Seat CoPilot‘s straight-forward design acts as a proximity alarm. If your infant is in the backseat and you walk more than ten feet away from the car, a key fob alarm sounds to remind you to bring your little one with you to grab that gallon of milk.
A seat belt clip attaches to the straps of the infant’s car seat. It sends a signal to the fob, triggering an alarm if the clip and the fob are more than ten feet apart. It’s a simple and effective solution, as many parents may just be over-tired and in need of a gentle reminder.
Prenatal Hope Viv02
This product is still in the startup phase and will be used by medical professionals rather than parents, but it has serious implications for new mothers. One in ten babies suffers from a lack of oxygen during birth. Unfortunately, there are few accurate methods for detecting in utero oxygen levels and doctors often suggest a C-section to prevent suspected infant hypoxia (lack of oxygen).
This device is intravaginal and requires no surgery. It can touch any part of the baby’s body while in utero and detect its pH to accurately measure oxygen levels. It’s no larger than an internal sonogram wand and captures data in just a few seconds. Rather than a costly, painful, and dangerous C-section, the Viv02 may save countless lives by eliminating the need for unnecessary surgical intervention.
Genki Tek Genki Cam
Admittedly, this one is still in the development phase. Though not yet available for retail in the U.S., the Genki Cam has some revolutionary features that will likely be picked up by U.S. manufacturers. The Genki Cam shares many basic features with some other baby monitoring cameras on the market.
For instance, the Lollipop camera is capable of detecting motion and notifying the parent, via an app. It tells parents if the child is crying, if air quality has changed, and can play music for the baby. The difference with Genki Cam is that it can detect if the child’s face is covered or if the child has vomited and notify the parent immediately.
However, unlike some cameras, the Genki Cam lacks night vision, which seems like a serious oversight given that most of the monitoring will take place at night.
Connected Seat: 4moms mamaRoo 4
The 4moms mamaRoo 4 is the next logical step up from a baby rocker or a baby swing. This tech-forward infant seat mimics the natural movements parents make when rocking their children. With five motions ranging from car ride to tree swing to wave, each motion replicates a naturally soothing movement. It’s bluetooth enabled so parents can control motion and even sounds or music from their smartphone or tablet.
Mesh fabric ensures baby stays cool and it’s easy to remove cover makes for easy cleaning. Despite its high-end price tag, some hospitals have even adopted the mamaRoo 4 to soothe newborns as it mimics the stimulation felt in utero.
Willow Breast Pump 2.0
The Willow is a serious advancement in the world of breast pumps. It fits directly into the mother’s brassiere and is completely self-contained. Unlike traditional breast pumps, the Willow has no tubes, external bottles, or cords.
Milk flows directly into a spill-proof bag or container within the pump. The Willow’s unique technology maintains suction, ensuring the wearer can move and be productive without worrying about the pump detaching.
The design has won numerous awards from CES, Women’s Health, and Time and with good reason. Compared to the previous standard for breast pumps, the Willow is truly advanced in its usability, comfort, efficiency, and overall design.
Though only a few of these advancements will save lives, each one is changing lives for the better. Parents need solutions that make their lives easier and better protect the lives of their children. It’s in technological advances like these that we see the true value of thoughtful engineering and outcome-based innovation.