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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.

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