WITHINGS SMART BABY MONITOR
Household Technology, $399 householdtechnology.com.au ★★★★
EVEN the most vigilant parents can’t be by their infant’s side all the time. But tech-savvy parents now have an option to be there virtually, with this unique baby monitor which connects to Apple iPhones to deliver video, audio and more.
Created by Withings, the crew behind the first wireless weight scales, the Smart Baby Monitor is a small and unassuming gadget, considering the technology inside it.
The device looks like a square plastic box and comes with a two-piece mount so it can be secured to a cot.
The top half of the box lifts up to reveal a wide-angle camera, while the bottom half features a speaker and touchsensitive controls. It also has a rechargeable battery and wall charger.
Setting up the Smart Baby Monitor is not quite child’s play, but it is very simple.
Users must connect an iPhone, iPod or iPad to the device by Bluetooth, download the free WithBaby app when prompted, and share wi-fi settings with the device. It is a couple of minutes’ work.
The device will then immediately send video and audio to your Apple gadget’s screen, with quality and speed depending on the strength of your wi-fi connection.
Even when using a weak connection, this monitor delivered webcam-quality video clear enough to make out all participants.
Its wide angle was also impressive and even captured items close to the camera. Two microphones at the base of the device are also wellpositioned to pick up most infant murmurs.
The Smart Baby Monitor can report on other elements in a child’s room too, including the temperature and even the humidity.
Phone alerts for these conditions and for noise and motion detection are available in its menu and can be customised.
Other thoughtful additions include a multi-coloured night light that can be turned on remotely, a choice of several lullabies and a microphone feature so you can soothe your baby from afar. This device has a few limitations. Video arrives seconds after it is captured and can buffer depending on the speed of your connection.
Users will need to be careful about their data use, particularly if using a mobile phone connection.
This device is obviously not designed to take over parenting and it warns during its setup that it is ‘‘ not a substitute for adult supervision’’.
But it could be a fantastic device for parents in a nearby room and provides a lot more information and monitoring than any mere intercom.