Smart sock for baby monitoring in funding campaign

Aug 30, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

( —Owlet Baby Monitors, a Salt Lake City business, is self-raising funds for its product, Owlet Vitals Monitor, a "smart" sock on the baby that can monitor vital signs and can send the information direct to a smartphone or other mobile device. The monitor relays such information as heart rate, oxygen levels, sleep position and sleep quality and can give you that data realtime on the phone. The company's goal is $100,000 and it hopes to be able to start shipping in November. It is no secret that information technology is to advance beyond the confines of screen and keyboard, and all eyes are on the future of wearables and the applications these wearables will support. In medicine and general health, it is a no-brainer to imagine the possibilities of wearables providing monitoring information for preventive health, from athletes wearing watches and wristbands to monitor performance to wearables for babies so that parents have peace of mind.

Owlet Baby Monitors' device belongs in the latter category and was designed to be tucked into a baby bootie. As the baby sleeps, the smart sock collects the data and sends it via Bluetooth 4.0 to the parent's smartphone. Data is pushed to the cloud and available for viewing on any device with an Internet connection.

The device has a four-sensor pulse oximeter, which checks in the blood via a built-in light and accelerometer to measure acceleration forces. For babies, a lot of issues could block their air, from blankets on their mouth to movement, according to the device creators. The oximeter technique emits LED light. Owlet's tracks the baby's movements, providing insight for patents about rollovers and sleep quality. By alerting parents when their child starts to roll over, parents can assess their child's ability to roll back and preempt potential problems. (Parents generally worry about a baby sleeping on the stomach for a long period and how that may put the baby at risk for suffocating.).

The Owlet team said the pulse oximeter is guaranteed under warranty for one year. The monitor will continue to work as long as it fits the child's foot, and it was beta tested on infants up to two years old. As for waves and frequency, the team said they are 915Hz or 2.4 GHz. The Owlet Monitor will not receive interference from home alarms, phones or other electronics. The final touches, programming and sock design are finished; the electronics is fully functional and ready to be mass-produced.

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

The company is pricing the monitor at $199 but early-bird units are $159. They noted the monitor can work with an iPhone app and an Android version will be done by the time the product is ready to be shipped. The same apps will be available for tablets as well. According to CNET, the monitor works alongside an iPhone app but it is currently going through Apple's approval process.

Another key event for the company would be FDA clearance for a monitor that could qualify as a medical device. The company makes it clear that the product being readied for September is not a medical device, only purposed as a monitor for the parent's . As such, the device does not need FDA clearance. Another version that the company has in mind would require clearance. That other version has an alarm system that would alert parents if the baby's or reached danger points. The company hopes to apply a portion of the crowdfunding proceeds to support the clearance-seeking process. The team anticipates FDA clearance by 2015.

Explore further: Engineering students teach autonomous cars to avoid obstacles (w/ Video)

More information:

Related Stories

Finland team has bed sensor to measure sleep

Aug 10, 2013

( —A $149 consumer version of a sleep-tracking system, consisting of both sensor and smartphone app, is aiming for funding via a campaign on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. Finland-based ...

A boom in smarter baby monitors

Feb 03, 2012

The cry has been heard: After 20 years with little change to baby monitoring devices, new designs premiered in January at the Consumer Electronics Show promising Wi-Fi connectivity and high-definition video that streams live ...

Smart home security device gets even smarter over time

Jul 28, 2013

Wouldn't it be nice to have an intelligent home system you can control from your phone? A system that is smart enough to know what is normal? A system that averts false alarms that fray the nerves of responders? ...

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.

Recommended for you

Five properties of physics that affect your gas mileage

just added

Physics is inescapable. It's everywhere, making your Frisbees fly, your toilets flush and your pasta water boil at a lower temperature at altitude. We've harnessed these forces, along with chemistry and engineering, ...

Encryption made easier: Just talk like a parent

43 minutes ago

Encrypting emails can be tedious, difficult and very confusing. And even for those who have mastered the process, it's useless unless the intended recipient has the correct software to decode the message. ...

SemanticPaint system labels environment quickly online

3 hours ago

Ten researchers from University of Oxford, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Stanford, and Nankai University have presented a new approach to 3D scene understanding with a system which they dubbed SemanticPaint. ...

Cuba's new wifi hotspots attract eager users

6 hours ago

Near the popular Hotel Habana Libre in Cuba's capital, a gaggle of young people on cellphones, tablets and laptops log onto the new wifi hotspot—a small milestone in one of the least connected countries.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.