This week, diaper brand Pampers announced its new line of smart diapers, "The Lumi," which can track urine output and include an activity sensor to track sleep, reported CNN. The diapers, set to be released this Fall, will come with an accompanying app where parents can log data taken from the diapers' sensors.
This is just one of the latest products from the internet of things (IoT) concept, which allows consumers to track everything that happens in their lives with sensors and smartphone apps. Baby products that can track bodily functions have become increasingly popular. There are already onesies on the market that track sleep, while a robot crib can lend a hand rocking a baby back to sleep when it cries.
As pediatricians recommend that parents track their child's urine output, Pampers hopes to make this easier by sending alerts to a connected smartphone when the baby is dry, wet or very wet.
A Pampers spokesperson explained the motivation behind creating the product.
"Parents didn't ask for a poo or pee alarm; they wanted something more like the smart watches of today. The activity sensor tracks baby's sleep and since it's there on the diaper, it can also track... if a diaper is wet."Baby experts have weighed in on the concept of using diaper sensors to track urine output and sleep patterns, commenting that parents could find the product useful if they are potty training.
"Undoubtedly, for those parents who are concerned about their newborn's bathroom functions — to inform something like constipation or if a kid is hydrated enough when they're sick — this data could be very useful over brief periods. Not to mention that it may even be useful for potty-training parents."One of the potential downsides of the increased vigilance that comes with using tracker apps is that a parent may become more anxious if they see slight changes in their baby's data patterns, which could in turn increase phone calls made to pediatricians.
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, president of the International Society for Infant Studies, gives an example to explain how parents may become frenetic and concerned for no reason. A child may produce more urine on a hot day as they ingest more fluids, which would prompt a change in the data pattern on the app and cause a parent to become concerned. However, she explains to CNN that there could be harmless reasons behind potential changes in data patterns.
Hirsh-Pasek adds that she believes parents should be focused on understanding their babies and learning to communicate with them without the help of an app or technology.
The Lumi already has a wait list ahead of the Fall launch as parents line up to test the new technology.