Sleep-deprived parents, rejoice: there may be a new gadget out there to set you and your baby's REM cycles back on track. If you're willing to shell out $250 for it.
The handy little gadget is called the "Sproutling," a baby-sized ankle monitor that tracks vital signs like temperature and heart rate while little ones sleep. This in turn allows parents to be aware of their baby's nighttime sleep patterns, and whether or not their tot is moving about while they're sleeping or perhaps lying face-down in a dangerous sleep position. The little anklet also picks up on a baby's surroundings, tracking noise, room temperature, and even humidity.
Seems pretty cool, huh? Just wait; it gets even cooler.
The data-driven anklet can also tell parents what the optimal room temperature is for sleeping based on their child's individual nap patterns. It will even point out whether lowering or raising the temperature by a few degrees will help baby sleep longer. (Those finicky little creatures.) And lastly, it can notify parents if a room's noise level is too much for their baby, by sending a warning that their little one is about to wake up unless things get quieter. And best of all, it sends updates right to an app on your phone.
Now that's high-tech.
Still, the whole thing raises some questions. First, comes the obvious: doesn't strapping a tiny anklet to your little newborn feel a bit too similar to how we treat criminals under house arrest? But aside from all that, here's a bigger question for you: when it comes to parenting, are we getting a bit lost in our tech-driven, data-hungry ways and relying less and less on basic human interaction and instinct?
To many, that may seem so. But to the creators of Sproutling, it's not just heaping data on parents; it's providing valuable insight they could not have otherwise gathered.
"That detailed information in the hands of a parent without any context will actually create fear and anxiety," said Sproutling's CEO Chris Bruce told CNN. "On its own, data really is meaningless to people until they have a means to understand it."
Sproutling, he says, is that means. And while it may not be for everyone, Bruce is confident his product appeals to enough modern parents out there to make it a success.
And as Yahoo Tech writer Dan Tynan notes, "This kind of data-driven monitor makes more sense than using a crippled walkie-talkie for someone who can neither walk nor talk, or a fuzzy video feed you have to watch constantly."
Skeptical? Check out the wearable monitor in action: