I'm a social media junkie who loves reading about and testing new technology. I'm also the mother of an almost 2-year-old. When I first saw the Huggies TweetPee, I immediately thought, "This has to be a joke." Sadly, I was wrong.
TweetPee is a smartphone app with a clip-on, bird-shaped humidity sensor and wireless antenna. (You can guess where the bird goes.) When your baby wets a diaper, a message is sent to Mommy's (or Daddy's) phone.
As the executive editor of Design News, I'm intrigued, and I kind of want to try it out. As a mother, I am appalled. I wouldn't entertain the thought of putting it on my child. It just seems creepy to me. Who knows? Years from now, parents who tested it may find that it caused some sort of damage. Is it worth even the smallest risk?
Kimberly-Clark said in a press release on TweetPee that the humidity sensor is "intended merely as a concept device to help showcase... parents' experience with the app." It won't make the sensor available for purchase, "nor are we suggesting parents are unable or too busy to notice when their babies' diapers need changing."
Money talks. However, no matter the outcome, does anyone really need an app for that?
Readers, what do you think? Is this another cool invention, or does it go too far? Tell us in the comment section below.
Well, it's a little creepy, but is it any creepier than executing a "crotch grab" on a toddler to check if the diaper is wet? Before I had kids, the first time I saw a parent execute that move on a three-year-old, it kind of freaked me out a little. Then I had kids of my own and realized it's actually a really practical way to check for wetness. If done well, this sensor (basically just a bluetooth moisture sensor, I think) could be helpful, since in my experience the kid won't cry until long after the diaper is wet (after it starts to get cold or skin irritation begins). Seriously, they seem to not be bothered at all by a wet diaper. I guess it's the warmth. By the time they cry, a rash has already set in, and I recall having to check early and often. And getting peed on a few times. For some reason kids find that extremely funny.
So let me get this straight: you plug the moisture sensor into your phone, run the pee app, stick the sensor in the diaper and put the phone... where? Are diapers going to have a phone holster? Does my infant need a data plan for this? If my kid pees a lot, am I going to run the risk of going over my data plan limits?
Honestly though, I can see this concept being useful in hospital/daycare situations as others have suggested, but to need a phone for this is just a solution in search of a problem. There ought to be far simpler solutions that don't require connectivity to the internet and would cost considerably less. I think a simple mesh network with a centralized data collection system would be cheaper, simpler, and less expensive.
I know exactly what you mean, Chuck. One crying child is stressful enough without the phone ringing, something beeping or anything else that demands your immediate attention. When my daughter was a baby, she wore diapers that had a yellow line on them. That line changed color when her diaper was wet. As the months went by, I started to be able to tell when he diaper was dirty, simply by looking at it.
When I was remodeling my house, i wanted stainless steel hoses to lessen the chance of a burst hose and the subsequent flood damage. As an aside, my contractor mentioned that there are moisture detectors that can send a signal to one's phone or alarm system to let she/he know that something is flooding. He said that he had installed the detectors for other customers, usually around the dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerators.
As someone who dodged a flood from a burst rubber hose feeding a filter to the ice tray only because I came home from work early that day, this technology as a moisture warning system makes great sense.
That someone would think to extend it to baby diapers is a pretty straight line, to be honest. Whether it is appropriate or not, that seems to be in the eye of the beholder.
I agree that there is already a great moisture alarm system (the baby itself) and that there are positive developmental aspects to this system, but I find that a lot of the comments in this forum against the device are very judgmental and a little self-righteous, strongly ridiculing the imaginary parents who might use such a device.
If one dials down the indignation, one could arrive at the related use and the very real problem that Bob W. pointed out - nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The need there is very real and is not a product of a lack of attention, selfishness on the part of the caregiver or part of the self-development of the party with the wet garment.
So a big Bravo to Bob for not getting caught up in the negative thread of the commentary. I lived through the nursing home nightmare with my father and using the moisture detector in this application didn't occur to me because I was too busy reeling from the negative comments (and laughing at Tekochip's commercial idea).
Jennifer i cant really say whether it is useful or not because in some senarios it can be usefull but not in daily routine . There should be a bonding between children and their parents and using such diapers will not help to creat a strong and healthy relationship between them it will be too robotic. What i am feeling is no doubt technology is a very good thing and it is helping us as well but on the contrary with these developments it is eliminating human bonding and feelings .
You can use such diapers in extreme emergencies or in nursingl Day care schools however making it routine will not be good for your child .
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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