#Google Seeks a #Patent for a Smart #Crib
Orange County – In the recent past, audio and then video monitoring of newborn babies was considered cutting edge technology. However, a new patent application filed by Google makes those advances seem quaint. Google’s patent application shows where baby monitoring technology is going which is hopefully to a place where serious concerns for parents like SIDS become a thing of the past.
Smart baby monitoring products are already on the market, but these products are either attached to the baby, integrated into the baby’s clothing, or set up under or near the baby’s crib. In contrast, Google’s crib would integrate these technological features into the crib itself. As Google wrote in its application, “because the sensors are integrated into the crib, they mitigate the risks involved in placing foreign objects near or in a baby crib.” For example, any device with a cord can be a hazard to a baby.
The smart crib builds upon existing notification features of smart monitors, allowing it to be programmed to alert parents that a child has climbed out of the crib, of potential health concerns like lack of movement and abnormal oxygen levels, that temperatures that are too hot or cold, or that an unwarranted visitor is near the crib, all sleep altering concerns of new parents. The crib can even alert parents that there is a dirty diaper.
What really sets the smart crib apart, however, is its capabilities to learn and act pro-actively. Algorithms in the crib can analyze the baby’s cries, categorizing them to needs such as a cry for a diaper change or a cry for food. The crib then can alert parents with its assessment of the problem to a cell phone or tablet. Parents would also be given the option to program the crib to act proactively once crying is detected, such as playing calming music or showing a cartoon on the ceiling.
The patent for the crib was filed in December 2014 and lists Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product management and hardware marketing, as the inventor. Google purchased Nest in February 2014 for $3.2 billion. Nest previously created three smart home products, a home monitoring camera, a thermostat, and a smoke alarm/CO detector.
It is unknown whether Google will be moving forward with actually producing the crib. If the company did, it would be the first original product created by Nest since Google purchased the company back in 2014.