While you were sleeping: Monitor alerts parents if baby stops breathing

Nov 27, 2012
Owlet baby monitor smartphone app created by BYU students.

Every parent worries about their baby. They worry while it's eating, while it's playing—and especially while it's sleeping. But a new device created by BYU students may help parents rest easier while their baby sleeps.

Student Jacob Colvin and his team created a that straps around an infant's foot and uses to monitor the and blood-oxygen levels. If the infant stops breathing or has a significant change in heart rate the monitor will notify parents by alerting them on their smart phone.

Colvin and his five colleagues hope the device, which is completely wireless and uses safe, non-invasive technology, will reduce the annual cases of (SIDS), which number around 2,500 in the United States each year.

"Our hope is that we can give parents time to react and see that something's wrong before it's too late," said Colvin, a father of two himself.

Owlet baby monitor prototype and smartphone app created by BYU students.

Colvin's team recently debuted a prototype of their Owlet Baby Monitor at the third annual Student Innovator of the Year competition. They won both first place and crowd favorite awards, with cash prizes totaling $6,000.

The Student Innovator of the Year competition was sponsored by the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology and the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and was led by Venture Factory, a student organization that encourages innovation. The competition gives participants the chance to create a prototype of their invention, get feedback from judges and potentially win $6,000 to continue improving their device. This year, 39 teams participated.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"This year's student innovators showed remarkable creativity and originality," said Justin Zsiros, faculty advisor to the competition. "The Owlet baby monitor has the potential to really benefit our society—and bring some to new parents. I can easily imagine Owlet or any one of the 39 teams creating a successful venture in the near future."

To get their prototype working, the Owlet team still has a long road ahead that involves finalizing the patent (paperwork has been filed and a patent is pending), more prototypes and more testing. But they're not discouraged.

"If we can hear just one mother say that we made a difference, it would all be worth it," Colvin said. "That makes all the difference in the world."

In addition to Colvin, a European studies major, the team includes chemical engineering students Kurt Workman and Anna Hawes, mechanical engineering students Jason Dearden and Wyatt Felt, and Tanor Hodges, a nurse at the University of Utah.

The second place Student Innovator award of $3,000 went to iLived, a family history social media site. Leenovation, a doorbell with security camera features, and Intuiplan, a paperless management tool, tied for third with $2,000 cash prizes for each.

The "great potential" award of $1,000 went to Hiven, a system that prevents pipes from freezing in the winter. The winners now have the option to compete in the Social Venture Competition or the 2013 Miller New Venture Challenge through the BYU Marriott School of Business.

Explore further: The ethics of driverless cars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aquaculture concept leaves judges 'goggle eyed'

Apr 29, 2008

Ronald Hoenig and Aaron Welch, both graduate students at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine UM Rosenstiel School students take home top prize in B-School's 6th Rothschild Entrepreneurship Competitionand ...

Computerized system to prevent SIDS developed by students

Jul 13, 2011

A new system using video and computer software to monitor a baby that could be used to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as well as for telemedicine applications, has been developed by two students at Ben-Gurion ...

Alternative energy plan wins contest

May 08, 2006

An alternative energy company called Aurora BioFuels has won the $25,000 first prize at the eighth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Aurora BioFuels ...

Babalung gets babies breathing again

Apr 13, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Rice University students have developed an inexpensive, battery-powered neonatal monitor for infants that could save many lives in the developing world.

Student team invents device to cut dialysis risk

Jun 28, 2011

Johns Hopkins University graduate students have invented a device to reduce the risk of infection, clotting and narrowing of the blood vessels in patients who need blood-cleansing dialysis because of kidney ...

Recommended for you

Ahead of Emmys, Netflix already winning online

5 hours ago

Even if it doesn't take home any of the major trophies at Monday's Emmy Awards, Netflix will have already proven itself the top winner in one regard: Internet programming.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

5 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Official says hackers hit up to 25,000 US workers

6 hours ago

The internal records of as many as 25,000 Homeland Security Department employees were exposed during a recent computer break-in at a federal contractor that handles security clearances, an agency official said Friday.

Oregon sues Oracle over failed health care website

16 hours ago

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says she's filed a lawsuit against Oracle Corp. and several of its executives over the technology company's role in the state's troubled health insurance exchange.

Google buys product design firm Gecko

16 hours ago

Google on Friday confirmed that it bought Gecko Design to bolster its lab devoted to technology-advancing projects such as self-driving cars and Internet-linked Glass eyewear.

User comments : 0