Friday, November 26, 2010

Apps and Gadgets to Soothe the Baby: New York Times Article (video, links)

I came across a link to a recent NY Time's article, "The Pacificer Gets and Upgrade:  Apps and Gadgets to Soothe the Baby" on Nat Torkington's "Four short links" O'Reilly Radar post, and thought it was worth sharing, especially for my readers who are new parents or new grandparents! Here are a few of the links from the NY Times article:

iPhone Apps
White Noise   by TMSOFT  (Rated positive by new dad and NY Times writer Farhad Manjoo)
"White Noise provides ambient sounds of the environment to help you relax or sleep.  Includes high quality looping noises such as ocean waves, crickets chirping at night, and the soothing sound of rain fall."

MamaRoo "It moves like you do"

The following two apps/gadgets didn't seem to work as advertised, according to Farhad Manjoo:
Cry Translator "The iPhone App to Understand Baby Crying"
Why Cry Baby Analyzer

Baby Monitors
Philips Advent Basic with DECT Technology
Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor
"Besides relaying your baby’s cries, it has a sensor pad, placed under the crib or bassinet mattress, that alerts parents when a baby has not moved for 20 seconds. It does not go off incessantly (the machine is sensitive enough to detect breathing) and is well suited to parents like me who cannot shake the paranoia that can come with caring for a new human being." -Farhad Manjoo

Farhad discussed monitors that feature web connectivity,   such as the MobiCam Digital Wireless Video Monitor and the Home Digital Video Monitor. These systems enable parents to watch the monitor's video of the baby via a smartphone.  To make this work, the baby monitor must be connected to a laptop or computer, which in turn must be turned on continuously, something that might not bee too convenient for busy parents.  He suggested that new parents take a look at the Lorex Wireless Easy Connect Network Camera, which has a built-in Wi-Fi chip that enables it to  connect to a wireless network without a computer. The Lorex isn't a baby monitor, but since it doesn't require a computer to work, it might be useful to anxious parents on-the-go who might want to see if their baby is being treated appropriately by a caregiver in their absence.

Voice Activated Crib Light with Womb Sounds (just $14.99!)
Itzben Baby Care Timer ($24.00 -keeps track of diaper changes, feedings, and sleep patterns)

Farhad Manjoo's comment about babies and gadgets is worth heeding:
"... but babies are a fickle, ever-changing lot, and what works one time seems hopeless the next. As a gadget fiend, I’m used to evaluating technology in controlled settings, but there is nothing controlled about life with baby."

ThinkGeek:  GeekKids Newborn and Infant 
The Pacificer Gets and Upgrade:  Apps and Gadgets to Soothe the Baby
Farhad Manjoo, New York Times, 11/24/10

Cross-posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog

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