Will there come a time when virtually every household object has connectivity features? It’s certainly looking that way. Nest, the company known for devices such as its smart thermostat, is proposing a hyper-connected baby crib.
Google’s Alphabet – Nest’s owner - filed updated paperwork with the US Patent Office yesterday for a crib that’s packed with sensors. The patent, which was first filed in December 2014, lists Nest’s director of product management, Maxime Veron, as the product's inventor.
While there are plenty of other connected gadgets that can monitor every aspect of a baby’s existence, the smart crib brings many of these products together. It features cameras, microphones, an accelerometer, wireless functions, and pressure, air, and light sensors. It comes with the usual locking mechanisms, and can even alert parents to a “deviation from the pattern of behavior.”
All this technology can be used to notify you - via your mobile device - if your baby is awake, crying, showing signs of illness, moving more or less than usual, and needs a diaper change. The crib also comes with a projector and sound system that can hopefully send a baby to sleep by playing soothing tunes and displaying static images on the ceiling.
Baby-related technology is a huge industry that’s growing all the time. But while the concept of being able to monitor a baby’s health 24/7 sounds like a good thing, connected devices do come with risks - and not just ones that involve bugs in the system. Earlier this year, a security researcher found he could browse vulnerable baby monitors using the Shodan search engine.
Despite the constant updating of its existing hardware, Nest hasn’t released any all-new products since Google acquired it in 2014. But - as with all patents - there’s no guarantee that the connected baby crib will ever make it beyond the drawing board.