If you have had a a baby, then you know how important it is to get an easy-to-use, quality baby monitor to monitor babies while they are sleeping their cribs. In my experience as a parent, I've used several types of monitors, but I've only been partially satisfied with them.
So when I heard about Nanit, a new baby monitor startup that promises to actually track and measure your baby's sleep while also providing a simple video monitor, I was intrigued.
Nanit, which is backed by $6.6 million from tech manufacturing giant Flex, former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, RRE Ventures and others, was founded two years ago by Dr. Assaf Glazer, Tor Ivry and Andrew Berman. Glazer, who has a PhD. in computer vision and machine learning, originally thought of the idea for Nanit after going through many sleepless nights with his own newborns.
Using the technology he learned in his academic studies, Glazer felt that there was an opportunity to create a baby monitor that included a camera that monitors when a baby is sleeping or awake and provides a better way to help parents understand their children's sleep patterns. As Glazer explains, Nanit's camera goes way beyond just baby surveillance by telling you how your baby is sleeping and how many times he or she wakes up.
Parents simply install Nanit's camera next to their child's crib to get a bird's eye view to their child from their phone over WiFi and high definition video. It also includes a nightlight and the ability to play lullabies.
But the monitor goes way beyond just providing a livestream of your child sleeping and monitoring for crying. Nanit tracks how many times babies wake up, calculates the temperature and humidity in the room for optimal sleep, counts how often a parent tended to the baby, how long it took the baby to fall asleep, and total hours of sleep.
For example, Nanit can show parents if their babies woke up at any point during the night and whether they were able to put themselves back to sleep.
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And Nanit will send parents notifications when their baby wakes up. As Glazer explained, the camera understands the difference between the baby moving and actually waking up, and will be able to detect sleep movements vs. waking movements.
The Nanit camera, which will ship to customers this fall, will retail for $349. It's available for a limited time for pre-ordering at a discounted price of $279. To get the full amount of data, parents must pay $10 monthly, otherwise, they will only be able to monitor their baby by video.
The Nanit camera sounds promising. But the market is competitive. Many parents use Google-owned Dropcams, which also can send alerts when babies move. There's also the iBaby and several models from Motorola. Distribution will also be a factor in Nanit's customer adoption. While Nanit will be sold via its website, the company declined to reveal whether it will also be sold in stores.
But Glazer is confident that Nanit will be the smartest baby monitor on the market come fall, especially considering his experience as a father of two young boys.
"What Tesla is doing for cars, we are doing for baby cameras," he said.