When designers like Yves Béhar are called creative, it feels like a huge understatement. And with his latest smart creation, the Wi-Fi enabled, robotic baby crib called Snoo, exhausted parents of new-borns will beg not to differ.
The app that Snoo comes with allows parents to monitor and review their child’s sleep patterns, as data is sent to their smartphones/tablets over Wi-Fi. Worry not, the crib has a little metal shield built inside that blocks the Wi-Fi signal radiations from harming the child. Of course, parents may also turn the Wi-Fi off at the push of a button. $1.160
The lozenge-shaped crib has white textile mesh sides to ensure that the kid gets enough fresh air, while the built-in swaddling strap keeps the baby secured in a sleeping position. The mattress is kept within a wood surround, supported by legs resembling hairpins. The in-built sensors monitor the baby’s movements and sounds, play ‘womb-like’ noises and (electrically) rock crying/agitated babies gently back to sleep/calm them down with a ‘womb-like’ motion. What’s amazing is that the mechanism does not come into action unless the swaddle is securely hooked onto the sides of the crib.
The crib also has a range of automatic features to manage a new-born’s varied moods: A sensor that taps sound and motion to tip the crib into action as soon as the baby wakes up or cries; a low-pitched noise or motorized swing that gets activated to put the baby back to sleep; or a slightly higher pitch that helps calm a crying baby.
The idea that sparked this invention was Béhar’s personal experience of sleepless nights as a father to four children that made him “intimately familiar with sleep deprivation.” Thus Snoo was born (pun intended) after an elaborate five-year design process during which Béhar (and his design firm fuseproject) worked closely with Dr. Harvey Karp. Béhar, an admirer of Karp’s work, said that the idea behind having technology and design is to leverage them to solve real-life problems.
While Snoo is currently suitable only for infants and small children, the tech implications are guaranteed to last beyond infancy. Since the crib promotes patterned sleep habits early, it helps train the baby’s circadian rhythm, ultimately leading to the child sleeping better even with progressing age.