Baby monitors have changed a lot since the early 2000s. What was essentially a cordless telephone with the ability to listen only, has turned into a smart Wi-Fi camera that has strong enough hardware to run analysis on live video. And you could get one by preordering off indiegogo.

Here’s why you want an iBaby i2: You want all the things a normal baby monitor does, but in addition, also want to measure the breathing, movement, and sleep of your newborn.

There have been devices that do one or two of these things in the past. For example, competing devices might use radio waves to detect the rise and fall of a baby’s breathing.

What’s interesting here is, iBaby i2 has enough hardware inside to run analysis on the video directly in the camera, and send that information in real time to your mobile phone. That’s more computing power than in a lot of smart home devices – in a baby monitor.

The camera is powered by micro-USB, and has a bending base, so you can mount it on a wall and bend it to view a crib from above.

What information does it show

The mobile phone app shows

  • room temperature
  • room humidity
  • Breathing (breaths per minute)
  • Activity (on a scale of 1 to 10)
  • Wi-Fi signal strength of the camera
  • Video quality (1080p / 720p)
  • alerts for movement detected
A very frowny baby with 19 breaths per minute

At the bottom of the app screen, there are buttons for listening, speaking, taking a photo, recording video, or playing pre-recorded music.

What can it alert on

  • Abnormal breathing rate
  • intense movements
  • face detection
  • baby’s face not showing
  • feeding alert
  • diaper alert
  • motion alert
  • sound alert
  • room temperature alerts
  • humidity alerts

You can select the alert tone, turn on notifications, and background notifications. It’s also possible to have it send photos or videos with the alert, or just the alert sound only.

When set to send a photo with the alert, you get 3 photos per alert. When using video with alerts, you get 15 seconds of video for each occurrence.

Why does “in camera” matter?

I have avoided writing ‘AI’ or ‘machine learning’ – but analyzing video directly in the camera is pretty amazing. It means that it isn’t sending the video to a more powerful device or computer to be analyzed. More importantly, it isn’t sending video to the cloud to be analyzed.

That isn’t to say that it’s completely local – one of the desirable features of a baby monitor camera is being able to view it outside of the house. In order for that to work without elaborate router and dynamic DNS setups that are uninteresting to many parents, it does use an iBaby cloud service to allow parents to access the baby monitor when away from home.

Should you get one?

If you want to monitor breathing, activity, and generally be alerted if your baby stops doing either of these things, this could be a good device to have. When my children were born, we had sensors placed under the mattress that detected lack of movement by whether or not there was shifting weight. That device had a lot of false alarms that caused me to leap out of bed. iBaby i2 seems to be way better in pretty much every way.

It’s important to note, this isn’t a medical device, and it can’t promise to do anything beyond monitoring and analyzing breathing and motion. At the same time, it can only help. Get the iBaby i2 baby monitor on indiegogo, at 44% off ($89 for a camera).

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