LAS VEGAS (AFP) – As technology caters to an ever-younger crowd, developers are creating new tools for infants and their parents, and even aiming at the yet-to-be born.
The Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Sunday, had a “baby tech” zone which included an array of gadgetry for new parents and those expecting to be.
California startup Hatch Baby showed its changing table that automatically weighs the baby and keeps track of diaper changes to help monitor infant health.
The company also showcased its home ultrasound device that allows expectant parents to see the baby in utero and share images over social networks.
Another exhibitor, Bloomlife, will rent a sensor which attaches to the mother’s belly to monitor contractions.
Bloomlife’s Angela Sylcott said some expectant mothers use the device in the final weeks of pregnancy to know when to go to the hospital, but that it can also be useful for “moms who have a history of preterm labor or a medical condition”.
Technology is also looking to shake up the breast pump industry.
Naya Health’s smart pump, said founder Jeff Alvarez, was developed when his wife was having trouble producing milk.
“We knew there was an opportunity,” he said.
It can help working mothers, for example, produce a supply of milk in advance of a business trip, he noted.
Alvarez said the device helps a woman relax, enabling her to produce more, and monitors production via a mobile application.
A “wearable” pump developed by startup Willow puts the pump directly in the bra, with wireless controls.
Engineer Shannon Kozin said the device is “mobile and completely hands free,” allowing women to go about their normal lives while they are producing milk and avoid bathroom breaks.
“It brings dignity and humanity” to the process, she said.
The zone also showed a variety of sensors that parents can use to monitor a baby’s vital signs.
Happiest Baby, founded by the author of early childhood books Harvey Karp, produces its Snoo bed which is equipped with microphones so that parents can hear the baby’s crying and offering calming noises to help lull the infant back to sleep.
The bed is “one little attempt to give parents a bit more sleep,” Karp said.