While we have Whistle for our pups and wearables that can dangle and pull data on just about any part of our body and daily activity, the tech industry hasn’t taken real baby steps into the nursery to help parents figure out how to improve things for your little one just yet. Sproutling is here to change that, by looking to replace (or at least for now, supplement) the original baby gadget, the baby monitor.
Yes, it’s time for baby’s first walkie talkie to evolve into baby’s first widdle wearable. The baby monitor has been around since the dawn of time (or at least 1937 or so) and is the device parents have been turning to and relying on for years. But even the Cadillac of monitors can’t tell you much more than, yes, your baby is there, and yes, hopefully he is breathing, and yup, he is definitely crying. Sproutling can do all that and predict what time your baby is going to stir from slumber.
The three part system includes a wearable sensor, a little wireless smart charger and an app that can provide data on as many children as you have connected in the Sproutling family. The sensor is encapsulated in medical-grade silicon with a band made of non-toxic materials that fits comfortably around your baby’s ankle. The smart charger that hangs out in the room does more than just creep on Junior’s every goo and ga. It takes note of the environment the baby is in and will add important context to any data the system shares with you. Think, “Nest for your nursery.”
Sproutling is the dry nurse of your dreams who doesn’t just add to the pile of omg wut over-information that the Internet, your mother-in-law or your not-as-helpful-as-you-hoped neighborhood parenting group does by throwing numbers at you. As parents themselves, the founders of Sproutling get that data without context can make a parent unnecessarily freak out. If an app tells parents that their kids got 30% sleep, they’re going to call the doctor. That’s no good. Instead, Sproutling might tell you “Your child is a light sleeper — and that’s okay.” In their system, quantities are qualified so that the app isn’t just reporting your little one’s heart rate, it’s telling you whether that number is normal or not. And not normal across the population of ankle biters, but normal for your baby.
Over time, the system learns your baby’s normalities and behaviors and uses data to make predictions. Besides being able to tell you when their temperature or heart rate is unusually low or unusually high, it can even guesstimate how long baby will sleep every time you tuck her in. This could have some serious payoff for parents in the form of sleep. We know — that’s gold in New Parent Land. At naptime, check the app, which will start a sort of sleep timer. Knowing all it knows about your babe, it can calculate just about how well he or she will sleep and start counting down the minutes until it suspects they will stir so you might actually be able to plan. Imagine that! Over time it will track baby’s development, noting milestones like an analytical baby book that can predict when she might sleep through the night for the first time.
The Sproutling founders Chris Bruce and Matthew Spolin stopped by Brit HQ to demo the device in real time. Without a baby around a man’s wrist had to do, but the effect (even for this babyless editor) was impressive. The second the wearable was flipped upside down or slipped off, the app alerted you. And not just you, but you(s). With two phones displaying the same info in real time, you can see how this is a device meant for parents, plural, to stay connected.
The Sproutling sensor might get a lot of the attention, but the unsuspecting little docking station is really the star of your future home’s nursery. While the wearable notes things like skin temperature, motion, sleep position, the charger stationed in the nursery will monitor the room’s temperature, noise level, humidity, light level, even weather patterns to find new correlations between the environment and how that has an effect on your child. Sproutling will support Apple’s HomeKit and is working with Qualcomm so alerts could show up on your TV or be connected to other parts of your smart home. Eventually, lights could flash to notify hearing impaired households about their baby’s doings.
Although we’re happily setting a seat at the connected smart table of our future domicile, even we look at baby’s first wearable and wonder if we’re all ready to strap a device on our children that’s just going to evolve until he’s a micro-chipped man. Sproutling is sensitive to that, and says that not all of the devices they have planned will be wearables. “This is the antidote to the dystopian, ‘I’m listening to every sound that you make,’” Bruce says. “It monitors the baby so the parents don’t have to.”
With four additional products already on the road map (or, height chart?) Sproutling is just a seedling for a company that hopes to grow as your family grows, helping to solve problems and provide insight for parents at each stage of your child’s development. You can pre-order Sproutling now for $250 to get the blueprints for a nursery as smart as the rest of the rooms in your future home started.
What do you think of Sproutling and bringing the smart home into the nursery? Are you a wearable user? Will your kids be? Share your thoughts with us below!