The Kickbee tweets when your unborn baby kicks
By Ben Coxworth
July 13, 2010
If our pets can now send tweets, then it only makes sense that our unborn children should be able to as well. The Kickbee is a prototype device that lets them do just that, even if they’re not aware that they’re doing it. It takes the form of an electronics-filled stretchable spandex band, which the pregnant mother wears over her bulging belly. When it detects movement underneath itself, the result is a Twitter update along the lines of “I kicked Mommy!”
The Kickbee was created by New York interaction designer and applications developer Corey Menscher, when his own wife was expecting. It contains piezioelectric vibration sensors, which emit small but detectable voltages when triggered by in-belly activity. An onboard microcontroller analyzes those electrical signals, then transmits the data to a computer via Bluetooth. A Java app on that computer analyzes the sensor values, and selects an appropriate Twitter text message based on what Junior is apparently up to. The resultant tweets can be sent to mobile phones anywhere in the world, or saved as an archive for monitoring the health of the fetus... that, or perhaps for later “Look what you put me through!” usage.
Presumably, the system is able to tell the difference between kicks and intestinal gas.
According to Menscher, “Whether separated by hundreds of miles, or by a simple daily commute, the separation can be heart wrenching for the upcoming parents as they struggle to support one another for this major change in their lives. The Kickbee is intended to help bridge the physical gap between spouses by enabling pregnant mothers to share the experience of a baby kicking in the womb with the fathers... an event that is normally only experienced in close proximity through the touch of the father's hand to her belly.”
At this point, the product is still in the development stage - you might even say it’s neonatal. If you’re interested in buying one, you’ll just have to periodically check in on the Kickbee website.