Edison-powered Mimo Baby Monitor ushers in the Internet of Things
By Jan Belezina
January 11, 2014
The Mimo Baby Monitor puts anxious parents at ease by providing them with a constant stream of data about their little sweetheart. The sensors embedded in an infant bodysuite, called the Kimono, monitor the baby’s respiration. The data is passed on to a small turtle-shaped gizmo, nested in the Kimono, which in turn measures skin temperature, body position and the activity pattern. All this information is then relayed via low-power bluetooth to a Wi-Fi enabled docking station so that parents can access all the details via their smartphones.
While the Mimo Baby Monitor is not the first offering of its kind, it is the first in what is likely to become an onslaught of wearable electronics products featuring the freshly-announced Edison chip – more on that later.
The smartphone app, available both for iOS and Android, enables parents to keep track of their baby’s vitals in real time while also giving them a handy analytics-style overview of the breathing and sleep patterns over time. The Lilypad station, sitting next to the crib, has a built-in microphone so that moms and dads can listen to baby sounds via the smartphone app. Another feature lets them set alarms and get notified about any significant changes in the readings.
While these functions already make Mimo worth considering, the feature range is likely to be extended pretty soon to include all the possible hardware synergies resulting from incorporating Edison. About a month before its keynote at CES 2014, Intel approached Rest Devices, the company behind Mimo, with a partnership proposal which resulted in the start-up’s engineers incorporating the revolutionary chip into their design just in time for presentation at the show.
Intel's Edison is a self-contained, Linux-based computer the size of an SD card. It packs a low-power, dual-core 22nm 400MHz Intel Quark processor, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is a flexible platform capable of running different types of downloadable applications. Put all this together with the mind-blowing form factor and the fact that Edison chips are able to communicate with each other and trigger actions remotely (as all computers do) and the advent of the Internet of Things suddenly seems very near.
The scenario presented during Intel’s keynote is simple yet convincing at the same time. As soon as the smart little turtle notices the baby has woken up, it sends a signal to another Edison-enabled device, the Mimo Bottle Warmer. The parents receive their nudge via the smartphone app, and all they have to do to feed their baby is pick up an already warmed-up milk bottle. Simple.
Curiously, for the sake of the presentation, Intel also replaced the smartphone app interface with an Edison-enabled coffee mug displaying key real-time information about the baby on its side. While this part of the presentation was a little bit over the top, it does drive the point across in terms of what will ensue if Edison is unleashed upon millions of innovators just waiting to make everything smart.
As Rest Devices assure on its blog, other devices will soon join the Mimo Baby Monitor and the Mimo Bottle Warmer, forming an entire ecosystem of smart baby care products called Nursery 2.0. Meanwhile, parents should already be able to buy a Mimo starter pack at US$199, including three Kimonos, one turtle and one docking station.
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