- How does your product differ from your competitors?
By it’s universal form factor. It can be attached to any typical article of baby clothing, it comes handy when you wash onesies and t-shirts. You can snap it off the old and dirty clothing and snap on a fresh one. It also applicable to all ages, not only to newborns, but also to seniors and elderly parents. Monbaby “smart button” can be easily integrated into any clothing design.
This form factor comes with a price: Small and precise MEMs accelerometer sensors are quite noisy. We’ve spent a lot of times designing and tuning noise suppression technology and algorithms. The result is, for example, the ability to detect abnormal movement and breathing patterns based just on accelerometer signal. This is where we different from similar competing products.
- Does this product have any audio monitor?
Current version does not have audio, we decided to start with Minimum Value Product and add features and functionality later. In our next generation product we are planning to add a microphone and currently in the process of R&D for this option.
- Are you sending out samples?
Yes. We are still looking for funding and would ask you to send it back once you done testing.
- What is the recommended baby age?
We are designing Monbaby so that it cannot be easily pulled off by 1yr old child, so it’s up to 12 month.
- Can the baby easily unpin or unsnap Monbaby monitor, which would then become a choking hazard?
Size of Monbaby inner enclosure diameter is 1.3 inches and is bigger than 1.25 inches required to pass choking tube test (see this link for more info). Monbaby device measures activity level and parents can setup an alarm to monitor a splash of activity that would indicate that baby is playing with the device. Though cordless, wireless baby monitors, such as Monbaby, have less risk than wired, hospital grade monitors, we want to emphasize that they still cannot replace responsible parental supervision!
- Is it waterproof and washable?
The Monbaby button not waterproof, though it is splash resistant. If baby throws up on the button, it could be washed with the battery tightly closed under the running water. You cannot drop it ina a sink or wash it in a washing machine. You will have to be careful not to toss it into the washing machine as a part of the onesie.
- Can the app connect to the internet via the phone or another device?
It is not possible now, but we are actively working on adding new features. We hope it will be be possible as a part of a premium features. For a small subscription fee, parents could monitor the baby remotely when they’re out at work or on a date.
- Does Monbaby have multiple sensors or a single sensor?
It is a single high-precision MEMS accelerometer inside Monbaby device that monitors the baby’s breathing from chest movements and rolling over through sensor orientation.
- Is breathing monitoring accurate? Breath monitoring via an accelerometer sounds highly inaccurate so it makes me skeptical. I’d really like to see a bit more info on how that’s done exactly. However, I can see the sleeping orientation monitor being highly accurate and babies rolling onto their stomach is a legitimate concern for a lot of parents.
Yes it is under certain conditions. We are concentrating on finding breathing rate and detection of the absence of breathing under a condition where baby is sleeping in a stationary crib. Breath monitoring will not work in a moving car or in a swing.
- What battery do you use and how long does it last?
We use CR2032 “coin-cell” lithium battery. On a constant use it lasts about 500 hours. Typical usage, when parents turn off or out of range during day and monitor their baby at night, yields about 2-3 month of battery life. In a passive mode, it lasts for more than a year.
- Is the BT LE range through open air or through walls?
The MonBaby operating range is about 40ft in the light of sight. In certain environments, especially homes with certain wall materials, electrical noise and large obstacles, the range of the device may at times be more limited than in the vast majority of homes. BLE technology emits 1,000 times less radio frequency power (RF power) than a typical cell phone. Our goal in selecting this technology was to keep the child safe with nearly non-existent RF exposure from the device.
- Why not make the data-set available to researchers in the future?
We are working on extending our backend to include open API functionality in the near future.
What kind of plastic we use for the button, is it safe for babies?
Most parents are very interested in the materials used in any product that is going to come in contact with their child and we encourage you to do as much research as possible in order to make the best informed decision.
The material we use is ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which is used for toys production, including Lego bricks.
Does the button require medical certification?
Please note that we are not making any claims that would suggest that the device we are offering is a medical device and as such it does not require FDA certification. As mentioned herein, please note that this device cannot replace parental supervision.
What about radiation safety concerns?
Radiation of radio frequency (RF) devices are measured by Special absorption rate (SAR). It is defined as the power absorbed per mass of tissue and has units of watts per kilogram (W/kg). A general rule of thumb is, higher emission power would increase the SAR measurement.
Cellphones in US are limited to 1.6W/kg by regulation
Apple iPhone 4 : 1.17W/kg
Baby monitors range between 0.01-0.08W/kg
Bluetooth devices about 0.001W/kg
There is no public measurement data found for BLE yet, but given BLE has even lower power emission than Bluetooth, the SAR number should be very insignificant to be compared.”
As you can see BLE device is 10-80 times less radiation than baby monitor.
It’s also cordless, which eliminates all sorts of dangers with cords.
For more details, see our blog on radiation concerns.
- How does the attachment work physically?
Monbaby consists of 2 parts, a button and a shell. A shell goes underneath the clothing and a button on top. Those two are snapped together trapping the clothing in between. Thickness of the material enforces the attachment.
- How do you guarantee that it won’t come off unless I tell it to?
We cannot guarantee that it will come off, and I don’t think anyone can. We say that all the technology does not replace responsible parents supervision. All that said, we do try to create a tight snap, that fits snugly and it’s hard for an adult person to unsnap, not to mention the baby. Parents can also enable alarm that monitors large movements and detect the moment a baby will try to take it off.
- You mentioned proximity and fall detection, “Parents with toddlers can use MonBaby to alert them if their child falls down, or if she moves too far out of a specified play area”. How those work?
Proximity is determined by the range of Bluetooth antennae. It’s a circular area up t0 40ft in the light of sight, depending on electromagnetic interference. When the range approaches the device limit, an alarm sounds. Fall detection measures a fall from 3-4 ft to the ground and is designed to inform a parent about any falls.
- Where are you at in the design and manufacturing process? Going from working POC in your own fab lab into a full-fledged manufacturing vendor with supply chain management is a massive leap. If a hardware Kickstarter fails, it’s always here. I want to know that your manufacturer has already executed high-yield runs of your product.
We have established a local manufacturing chain in NJ and went through an initial prototype run of 20 units.
- Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do, please add the appropriate amount for the international shipping. Below is the table that maps your location to the amount.
- USA $5.99
- Canada $ 25
- South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia $60
The actual shipping date will be delayed compared to shipping in the US. This delay is due to CE certification that we have to pass to sell internationally, our FCC certification is almost done. It is an additional cost for us and your support will help us to expedite this process.