The life of a new parent is split between two activities: doting on the baby and checking the baby monitor. What if that baby monitor gave you more information than just sound or video? And what if you could check it from your smartphone?
Did your Internet just crash as parents-to-be everywhere raced to update their gift registries?
As Dulcie Madden, CEO and co-founder of Rest Devices explains, the Mimo baby monitor was created to help parents rest easier. “When you wake up in the middle of the night and your heart’s pounding, you can just look at your phone, and have that peace of mind without having to get up,” Madden tells Metro.
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Mimo sensors can pick up and monitor a baby’s breathing, skin temperature, body position and activity level, and stream live audio. Once parents download the accompanying app for their iPhone or Android, they can receive real time data straight from the crib, which is displayed in a simple graphical format.
“It’s all color-coded,” Madden says of the visually appealing app. “You can also set alerts. So if you want to be notified if your baby rolls over, you get a notification on your cell phone. We are also able to compile a lot of really cool trend and analytics data. You can tie in your baby’s sleeping schedules, eating schedules, diaper changes and more. So you can get a really cool snapshot of how they’re evolving,” she says.
The magic is in the onesie, or as Mimo calls it, the organic cotton kimono. The short-sleeve kimonos come in three sizes. “They have sensors on them that are more or less basically just like T-shirt vinyl,” Madden says. Those sensors measure data such as the baby’s respiration.
“There’s a little turtle that clips onto the front, about the size of a Nilla wafer, so it’s bigger than a choking hazard,” Madden says. That turtle functions as a low-powered wireless radio to relay data from the sensors. It uses the new Bluetooth Low Energy system. It’s the lowest power that you can get. It’s about the same as having an audio monitor within 8 feet of the crib,” Madden says.
The turtle connects to a Wi-Fi-enabled lilypad bay station. “The lilypad sends all that information up to your home’s Wi-Fi network through our servers, and backs it up to your smartphone pretty much instantaneously,” Madden says. “It also picks up audio.”
Let’s recap: a kimono with sensors, a Bluetooth turtle, and a Wi-Fi lilypad. Sound too complicated? Madden assures users that the product’s aim is simplicity. “Everything is machine washable and durable; you can treat it just like any other onesie you have,” she says. “The setup has to be super simple. I know that no mom wants to have to do something that involves wireless setup or anything. We’re making sure that everything is really easy and really simple to navigate.”
With easy, advanced baby monitor setup comes an easy segue to helicopter parenthood. “There’s been a lot of conversation in the last couple of weeks about that,” Madden says of concerns that Mimo provides parents with too much information. “We do not want to increase anxiety for any mom or dad anywhere. It’s just we’ve heard from so many parents that when they do wake up in the middle of the night, that it happens over and over, and we want to let them have the best solution for getting back to sleep.”
Madden adds that parents in the Boston area, where Rest Devices is based, approached her team about creating a baby monitor like Mimo. Rest Devices had already introduced the sensor portion to parents and doctors. “We’ve had parents coming to us for months that we knew in the Boston community who we were working with, and they said, ‘Can’t you put this into a baby monitor? I go in to check my baby eight times a night!’” Madden says.
Madden and her team of four MIT engineers responded, and Mimo is set to be shipped in December. Their page on Dragon Innovation offers more details and preorder information.