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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.