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Can AI help your baby–and you–sleep better?

Nanit’s baby monitor live-streams your kid’s crib to your smartphone and to the cloud, where its Insights vision tech analyzes your child’s sleep habits.

Can AI help your baby–and you–sleep better?
[Photo: courtesy of Nanit]

From smart phones to smart cars, AI has invaded every aspect of our lives. Now, it’s even in your baby’s crib.

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A New York startup called Nanit has developed a smart baby monitor that it says can help parents with those sleepless nights by analyzing their child’s sleep habits and reporting back on things like how often your kid wakes and how long it takes them to doze off.

The Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitor, shaped like an overhead street lamp, offers a bird’s-eye view of junior and doubles as a self-dimming nightlight at its most basic functionality.

[Photo: courtesy of Nanit]
The monitor can stream video and audio to parents or caregivers anywhere around the world through smartphone and computer apps. It costs $279 for the cam and wall mount, and the monitor’s AI reports will cost an extra $100 a year (the first 30 days are free). Called the Nanit Insights program, it logs and tracks when a baby goes to bed, falls asleep, wakes up, or receives a visit in the nursery.

That lets the service deliver dashboards full of e-commerce-style metrics like what it calls sleep efficiency—meaning the percentage of time in the crib that a baby fussed or spent asleep—as well as basic data points like the time a baby takes to nod off. The company also logs video sessions, letting parents and caregivers monitor their babies’ nights and naps after the fact.

Automated recommendations can help babies (and parents) get a better night’s sleep, like suggesting ways parents can get their kids to soothe themselves.

[Photo: courtesy of Nanit]
“Nanit actually digests the information for you that you need to know,” says CEO and cofounder Assaf Glazer.

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The video material is processed by Nanit’s computer vision tech in the Amazon cloud. Glazer assures that security is a top priority, and says that says if customers cancel their Nanit Insights subscriptions, the company will delete their data within 90 days.

While the current product is focused on babies, Glazer says the company is in the early stages of researching how the product could track adult sleep as well.

“The sleeping industry is a big industry, and there is an advantage of using computer vision for detecting sleep disorders,” he says.

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About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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