The quantified self movement has made its way into the nursery.
A company called Rest Devices is developing a high-tech onesie that lets parents monitor a baby’s breathing, temperature and movements from their smartphone.
Called Mimo, the cotton onesie is embedded with machine-washable sensors and comes with a base station, the “lillypad,” that’s placed in the baby’s room to pick up audio as a traditional baby monitor would.
The device uses a home WiFi connection to stream the audio and sensor data to a parent’s phone. The accompanying app tracks data over time and can be programmed to send alerts if a baby’s breathing has stopped, for example, or if his temperature gets too high.
A new SEC filing reveals that the Boston-area company has just wrapped up a $1.2 million round of financing. According to the WSJ Venture Capital Dispatch, the funding was led by The Experiment Fund and joined by angel investors to support a January launch of the $199 device with a “prominent retailer.”
A group of former MIT students founded Rest Devices as Nyx Devices back in 2011 with the idea of making a sensor-embedded sleep shirt for adults. They seemed to have switched gears, though, joining a class of other digital health startups like Sensible Baby, Sproutling and Owlet Baby Care in developing digital health devices to enable “smart” parenting.
Co-founder Dulcie Madden responded to concerns that these kinds of devices may feed parental anxiety or try to replace the human touch with data on a post on the company’s blog. “A smart device is not – and will never – be a replacement for good parenting. However, it can be one more tool that helps parents along the way,” she wrote. “Just like a comfortable crib, good advice, books and blogs, or a sturdy stroller, Mimo can help parents along their journey in rearing their child, not replace them.”