Smart home liv­ing

Nick Odantzis on his love of child-friendly tech­nol­ogy

Mac|Life - - HOME LIFE -

The idea of gad­gets that help your child learn some­thing in or­der for them to bet­ter un­der­stand the world around them is a good one. And if it gives them a head start in life? Sure, why not? It’s got to be more ben­e­fi­cial than them sim­ply pick­ing up an iPhone or iPad to do with what­ever they de­sire when they need some­thing to keep them oc­cu­pied. Ad­mit­tedly, there’s no re­place­ment for you spend­ing time with your kids, but it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion in a world where small peo­ple in­creas­ingly seem to be hard– coded to pick up a dig­i­tal de­vice as soon as they can walk.

Mind you, we’re prob­a­bly not help­ing with the vol­ume of tech that we’re fill­ing our homes with. These days, a child no longer needs to go and ask their parent the so­lu­tion to a burning prob­lem when there are a mul­ti­tude of ar­ti­fi­cial as­sis­tants dot­ted around the home that are ready to re­spond with a much bet­ter an­swer than I could come up with.

But there’s some tech that you sim­ply can­not do with­out if you have chil­dren. As a new parent, and a tech afi­cionado, I’ve taken to the baby tech scene like a fish to wa­ter (or should I say like a baby to milk). There’s lots of neat stuff out there, but the one thing I’ve re­ally be­come fond of is the Net­gear Arlo Baby Cam ($199.99,

arlo.com). Sure, it might seem like a lot of money just to keep an eye on your baby (rather than what you’d use a smart se­cu­rity cam for — to catch would–be– thieves try­ing to break into your home), but to me, hav­ing the lux­ury of putting my sleep­ing baby up­stairs and then watch­ing TV down­stairs is price­less. Plus, this is no stan­dard smart cam be­cause it’s packed with cool baby-spe­cific fea­tures such as crys­tal-clear 1080p video that even works bril­liantly at night (which, let’s be hon­est, is when you’ll need it most); col­or­chang­ing lights, and a pre­set range of lul­la­bies that help sooth your baby to sleep. Most im­por­tantly for me, it keeps tabs on the air qual­ity around my baby, though as you’ll have read last is­sue, I’m still un­de­cided whether know­ing about this (and not be able to do that much about it) is such a good thing.

There’s one thing I don’t like about the Baby Cam, though, and I won­der if it’s the en­gi­neer­ing team’s idea of a joke. The in­frared night vi­sion sen­sors built into the ‘face’ look like devil eyes — when the Arlo is wear­ing its “cute bunny” out­fit, it brings back ter­ri­fy­ing child­hood mem­o­ries of watch­ing Water­ship Down!

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