Thoughtfully-designed baby monitor wearable that empowers parents
Another digital parenting tool is New Deal Design's Sproutling, a wearable device and sensor-tracking technology that wraps around an infant's ankle. Through Sproutling, parents will be able to track their baby's sleeping patterns, Wired reported.
In 2013, two San Francisco-based entrepreneurs, Chris Bruce and Mathew Spolin, contacted a local product designer called Gadi Amitwith the idea of making a wearable device. "They had some core sensors and a general idea for the branding," Amit says. "But, as is usually the case with wearables, most of the sensors brought to us were raw inventions from a medical lab. The end users are not medical professionals." In fact, in the case of Bruce's and Spolin's device, the Sproutling, the end users were babies.
At first glance, the Sproutling looks a little like a high-tech house-arrest anklet for babies, but actually monitors their vital signs, tracks heartbeat, body temperature and the noise level in the room, while they sleep. Think of it like a Fitbit for babies.
“The first thing to know about Sproutling is that it’s not for the baby. It’s for the parents. Every touchpoint—both physical and digital—is crafted with overwhelmed parents in mind.”
“If they’re right that high-tech tools can keep parents calm instead of adding to the stress of parenting, Sproutling could have a winner on its hands.”
“It’s great that Sproutling is offering this type of machine-learning technology as it sounds like this will be a godsend for parents to catch an extra few hours of sleep before their baby requires attention.”
“Parenting in the 21st century isn't too much different than parenting in the decades before it, but if Sproutling [is] successful, it might just be slightly less stressful for new parents.”
Rewarding as it is, being a new parent can be really scary – which is why most first time moms and dads are more than willing to seek all the help they can get. With this in mind, some Apple and Google alums have teamed behind a San Francisco startup called Sproutling, whose first product is a smart wearable baby monitor.
“Given the attention around both wearable sensors and smartphone apps, it’s not surprising that a team has come up with a completely new notion of a baby monitor. What is surprising, though, is that the idea seems like quite a good one.”
Chris is the cofounder and chief executive officer of Sproutling. He built the first Sproutling prototype in 2012, out of an arduino and assorted parts that he picked up from Radio Shack. The concept united his deep experience as software engineer and entrepreneur with his role as a new parent, and after a year of bootstrapping the idea for a year, Chris pursued it full time the following year in 2013. Prior to Sproutling, he singlehandedly built the mobile iOS application for One Medical Group, and led the ground-up development of WellnessFX’s iOS app as a senior mobile engineer. Chris’ affinity for confronting novel challenges runs deep. He dropped out of college in 1993 in order to develop corporate computer systems, and within a year, he was managing the IT department at Lorber Industries, the largest textile manufacturer west of the Mississippi. As cofounder and vice president of engineering at Diversion in 2010, Chris built a social gaming company with clients that included Showtime, HBO and Sony. And as Shawn Fanning’s first non-founding hire at Rupture in 2006, he accompanied its acquisition by Electronic Arts, and stayed on for three years as technical project manager.
Mathew is the cofounder and chief technology officer of Sproutling. Mathew founded Sproutling in 2012 to combine his passion for his family with more than two decades of experience in software engineering and bioinformatics, starting with his first job as a 12-year-old programmer on a federal subcontract. Most recently, as vice president of engineering at One Medical Group, he overhauled the systems behind the technology-enabled medical practice, which raised $70 million in private equity funding from partners including Benchmark and Google Ventures. Since 1998, Mathew has launched several successful companies. As founder and CTO of DoubleDutch in 2010, he created unique geo-social apps for events and conferences, including TED, Cisco and Adobe. He was also the technical cofounder of Noosh, a communications service for managing Fortune 500 marketing spends, where he acted as chief software architect and CTO. Mathew also spent five years building the largest database of expressed human gene sequences in the world as a bioinformatics architect at Human Genome Sciences in Maryland, starting in 1993, while he was also in his last year of earning his B.S. in computer information systems from American University.
Azhar is the head of marketing at Sproutling. Prior to joining Sproutling, Azhar was a head of marketing for seven years at Google, where she specialized in launching emerging technologies, including Fiber, Chromebooks and Android. Commercials from her national campaign for Google Fiber won a bronze Effie award for marketing strategy in 2014 and an Emmy award for best commercial campaign in 2013. She was previously head of marketing for Chromebooks, where she led the team responsible for its global launch strategy in marketing, advertising, partnerships and demand generation. Azhar also directed the design and execution of the Google I/O ’09 developer conference, and launched the first generation Android phone as head of developer marketing during her first year with Google. In 2005, Azhar left her position as a product manager at Ruckus Network to pursue her M.B.A. at Berkeley, and during which she interned in product management at Electronic Arts during her studies. As an undergrad, Azhar split her time between earning her B.S. from M.I.T. in computer science and management and her B.A. from Wellesley College in computer science, with minors in mathematics and economics.
Chulsung is the director of engineering at Sproutling, where he leverages more than a decade of expertise pioneering miniaturized wireless embedded systems for his mission of building tailored, beneficial consumer devices. As part of his work towards his Ph.D. in computer engineering at UC Irvine, Chulsung designed Eco, the world’s smallest wireless sensor node at the time. Measuring one cubic centimeter, it gauged infant movement as a proxy for development in preterm infants at UC Irvine Medical Center. He also published 19 research papers on embedded systems, energy harvesting and wearable computing while earning his PhD. In 2007, he won several awards, including four design awards from ISLPED. As a hardware design engineer at Apple, Chulsung helped maximize wireless performance on the first generation MacBook Air, and contributed to the shipment of Apple’s first computer without a network port. Most recently, Chulsung developed the power and sensor architecture of the Fire smartphone as a senior system architect at Amazon Lab126. Chulsung earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Seoul National University in 1999.
Dan is the director of data science at Sproutling, where he advances the field of artificial intelligence through adaptive learning algorithms wrested from massive data sets. Using data on sleeping, heart rate and skin temperature, he devises the statistical methods by which Sproutling products learn and predict infant behavior in real time. A mathematician by training, Dan has more than ten years of experience teaching systems to learn like humans. Prior to Sproutling, he spent two years designing time-series predictive modeling as a machine researcher at GE Global Research, transforming its approach to industrial systems maintenance. Before that, he helmed investigations into intelligent autonomy as a research scientist at Northroup Grumman aerospace systems starting in 2007. Dan received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Arizona State University in 2002 with a dissertation on dynamical systems. He held postdoctoral positions at Duke University and UCLA, where he led research into robotics and multi-agent systems. He has published his findings in Journal of Applied Physics, Physica D (Nonlinear Phenomena) and Journal of Computational Physics, among other prominent publications.
Timothy is the director of Operations at Sprouting and a mentor at Lemnos Labs Inc. Prior to joining Sproutling, he was a Factory and Field Lead at Square, an Operations Manager at Mission Motors, and was an Operations Program Manager at Apple specializing in iPhones. Timothy also has more than 5 years of experience at Intel as both manufacturing program manager and senior industrial engineer, as well as working at NASA as a space materials research assistant. Timothy received his MBA from Duke University, MS in Engineering Management from University of Southern California, and BS in Industrial Engineering from Cleveland State University.
Kenyon is the engineering program manager at Sproutling, where and he brings more than a decade of experience in tactical engineering to his role overseeing the strategic growth of the hardware and software teams. Kenyon joins Sproutling fresh off his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Previously, he developed managed the operations design pipeline for iPad electrical components systems as a hardware project manager at Apple, and led engineering teams from prototyping through launch. But Kenyon began his Apple career in 2008 with an extremely technical role—designing and verifying all electrical systems for the MacBook family of products. Starting in 2003, while in the last year earning his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from Berkeley, Kenyon worked as a systems engineer at intellectual property technology firm Rambus and helped develop a memory processor architecture for Sony’s PlayStation3 console.
Julie is a senior product design engineer at Sproutling. Most recently, Julie was a CMF design manager at Lab126, Amazon’s secretive hardware laboratory, where she investigated new materials starting in 2012. Her work within surface finishing led to a recent patent filing in functional coatings, and she built expertise in brand identity by ensuring cosmetic consistency throughout product hardware releases. Julie had previously spent more than four years at Apple as a manufacturing design engineer working on the iPhone, where she led the development of techniques for creating the anodized aluminum finish of the iPhone 5 and contributed to two technique patents. Julie also made frequent trips to Apple’s overseas factories as part of her work designing and implementing automated manufacturing streams. Julie received her B.A. in mechanical engineering and product design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007.