LAS VEGAS — Wearable tech has become a popular way to check on one's own health. You can count steps with your Fitbit, or measure your heart rate with an Apple Watch. And now, a new wearable baby monitor claims to alert parents to the health of their infants.
The Snuza Pico is a wearable for babies that clips onto a diaper with a clamp and uses sensors to monitor your little one's abdominal movements. Some may see it as more information than parents need, but for those parents who grew up addicted to their phones, it might be a natural way to take care of their newborns.
Snuza showed off the Pico at the Baby Tech Showcase at CES 2016 today (Jan. 6), and the company plans to launch it in April or May for $130. It weighs just 1 ounce and will be made of medical-grade plastics, although we checked out a working prototype housed in a 3D-printed case. Contactless sensors mean that the Pico doesn't need to be in direct contact with a baby's skin to provide readings, which can also reduce the number of false alarms. The sensors include a temperature sensor and a sensor to determine sleeping position.
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Parents and caregivers can connect the Pico to their smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy. The company says you can monitor your baby or control the Pico within Bluetooth LE's working range, which is a couple of hundred feet in a open field, but might not reach all the way across the inside of a large house. The app can display abdominal movements, sleeping positions and skin temperature, and warns of possible risks.
Snuza claims that the battery on the Pico will last for a week on a charge. The Pico's carrying case comes with a charger built in, and the wearable charges simply by being placed in the case. A Snuza representative suggested that you would need to charge it only every few days.
Snuza plans to launch a subscription service for the Pico, giving users of the app full histories and graphs of everything the wearable measures, as well as reports of how well the baby sleeps. It will cost $9.99 per month, but will be solid in multi-month bundles for a discount.
We can see baby wearables taking off with millennial parents who grew up with technology and who already use phones and wearables, but it's hard to tell if it will replace or supplement lower-tech but ubiquitous baby monitors that use video or audio.