Google’s sister company Nest eyes high-tech diaper-sniffing, surround-sound crib

Babies of the future, rejoice! A possible new high-tech crib from Google’s sister company Nest wouldn’t actually change diapers, but it could tell parents when they need to do the dirty work.

Alphabet’s Nest smart-home company on Thursday received a patent for a smart crib featuring sensors, a microphone and camera. The high-tech baby bed’s air-quality sensors would recognize the effluvium of soiled diapers, and tell parents and caregivers via their mobile devices or computers whether a baby is lying down, standing up, awake, sleeping poorly or crying.

An infant’s tears would trigger parental notifiation, and more: “The projector may activate and display some cartoon animals on the ceiling,” according to the patent.

Apparently, a cinema-quality experience awaits little Emma or Noah. “Each corner of a baby crib may contain a speaker,” said the patent, which describes the invention by Nest’s director of hardware product marketing and management Maxime Veron.

Parents can also use the crib camera to watch their child remotely. And the futuristic bed would contain a host of features to keep a baby safe, with pressure sensors detecting heart palpitations or an unusual lack of movement, a thermometer and/or thermal-imaging camera detecting irregular temperature, a motion-capture camera and/or microphone identifying coughing or sneezing. Air-quality sensors and a thermometer could detect carbon monoxide, smoke or fire, and the crib could issue an alert to parents and also open up, to free a tot to toddle to safety.

Parents could control a moveable camera lens to scan baby’s room in event of a possible problem.

The crib could be networked with other smart-home devices and systems controlling lighting and temperature, as well as monitoring air quality. “A sensor detecting a high level of carbon monoxide may not only alert the client device, but also a controller of a smart home system,” the patent says. “In response to the notice, the smart home system may dispatch a notice to a third party (e.g., fire department) and/or other client devices associated with the controller (e.g., other occupants of the home who are not receiving notices from the crib).”

And the invention would bring babies into the world of big data, with sensors collecting rates of growth and weight gain, along with tracking a child’s patterns of movement.


Photo: Sawa Angeles, 4 months, of Campbell, smiles during a baby sign language class at the Campbell Library in May 2016. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

    And will it spy on you like the Nest thermostat does?