Baby monitors have become a popular consumer technology product but a new patent filed by Google reveals the next big thing for baby safety may be smart cribs. A patent filed by Google at the US Patent and Trademark Office shows off a smart crib fit with sensors to detect activities of the baby like sleeping, crying, unusual movement and even diaper change alerts.
The patent shows the crib will have a camera fitted with infrared technology (to detect movement in the dark) and the live feed will be broadcast to a LCD/LED monitor which the parent can control. This is the same as any high-end baby monitoring kit, but what makes the smart crib idea novel is that it will have additional sensors to detect a baby's movement patterns.
The bed plank of the crib which is generally made of wood or fibre will be fit with the sensors that can detect movement of the baby. According to the activity it senses the crib will perform some functions to make the job easier for the parents. For instance, if the baby is crying, the parents need not rush to calm him/her down.
Instead, the projector will activate and display some cartoon animals on the ceiling accompanied by music played at a volume that is determined based on the ambient level of sound detected in the room by the microphone.
Innovative sensors may also be incorporated to monitor the air in the baby's room to check for unusual dust particles in addition to monitoring for carbon monoxide-like poisonous gases. A sensor will also be able to indicate if the baby has vomited or has a dirty diaper. It will also be able to track the baby's heart palpitations, unusual lack of movement and possibly even detect if the child has a fever.
The kit, which is aimed to be a part of Google's smart home automation system, will also have sensors and a compass attached to doors in a home for general home intrusion detection that sets off an alarm and in particular be used to detect unwarranted entry into the child's room. These sensors can even notify if the toddler has climbed out of the crib and made his/her way towards the door.
The patent was filed in 2014 by Google and the current state is not known. It may or may not be under development, but all features listed on the patent will not make it to the final product even if it is approved for production.