The latest in parental guidance

I’m at an age when it seems all my friends and neighbors are pregnant or trying to start their families. It’s an exciting time, but even more so with all the new technology available to soon-to-be or new parents. I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the tech that’s available for new families.

baby

Ovuline
This new iPhone app and web portal lets you track your fertility so you know when you’re more likely to conceive. And using real-time data, rather than arithmetic-based calculations like other trackers, this app has helped women conceive up to three times faster than the national average. The app itself is free with premium features costing a one-time fee of $10 for the app and $50 for web and mobile.

BeBeVu
Certain hospitals across the country are offering BeBeVu which allows parents to purchase their full-motion ultrasound video online. Which, of course, allows the already proud parents to share the video with family and friends across their social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. I guess you can never start your kid’s digital trail too soon!

Cry Translator
Okay, when I first saw this I immediately thought of that Simpsons episode where Homer’s brother Herb invents The Baby Translator that translates babies’ cries into his voice asking for something. Well someone thought that was actually worth creating and now we have the Cry Translator app for iOS. The creators claim the app will “help parents and caregivers pay early and effective attention which can soothe a baby crying.” It promises to figure out what the baby needs and recommend solutions in under 10 seconds. There’s a lengthy informational test video on their website. I guess we’ll have to wait and hear from desperate parents if the app is worth the $4.99 they’re currently charging.

Samsung SmartCam WiFi Baby Monitor
There are a plethora of baby monitors available to parents, but this one allows you to connect the baby monitor to your WiFi network allowing you to see the feed from you computer, tablet or smartphone. There’s a two-way talk feature, night vision, audio/motion detection and notification, and the ability to record and share on to your private YouTube channel. Great for when a parent is traveling or for out-of-town grandparents.

Kinsa Smart Thermometer
This one is technically not on the market yet, but they are accepting contributions on Indiegogo. This thermometer would actually plug into your iPhone through the headphone jack and, aside from telling you your temperature, it can provide treatment advice and symptoms to watch for if the illness becomes serious. If your condition does escalate, the app can call your doctor or book appointments at your local medical clinic. In less serious situations, the app can access local health groups to see if there are seasonal or communal illnesses in your area. You can even create a profile to track your health over a period of time. A $25 pledge gets you into the Kinsa community. But hurry up – only 23 days left to join.

Have you used any of these apps or devices? Or have you discovered something awesome other parents should know about? Share!

Interactive light books coming to a reading time near you

I could not get enough of augmented reality when it first broke onto the scene. So any way the digital and physical worlds can react with one another totally geeks me out. Like this…

HideOut-Book-490px

Disney Research in Pittsburgh and three professors at Carnegie Mellon University teamed up to create HideOut, a mobile projector that creates a new way for digital content to interact with objects like books, walls, boardgames, etc. Here’s the geek speak from their website:

“We enable seamless interaction between the digital and physical world using specially formulated infrared-absorbing markers – hidden from the human eye, but visible to a camera embedded in a compact mobile projection device. Digital imagery directly augments and responds to the physical objects it is projected on, such as an animated character interacting with printed graphics in a storybook. HideOut further extends our work towards a new ‘game projector’ paradigm where the real world becomes a digital playground.”

Be sure to check out the video on their site that shows the mobile projector in action. I think the best thing about this new tech is how the projected images react to the surface where they’re being projected. Plus if smartphones have projectors built into them in the future (which doesn’t really seem like a stretch at all), can you imagine how much cooler mobile gaming can be? And how much more fun it will be to flip through photos when you’re with friends?

Heineken Ignite

Have you always wished your beer bottle would do more for you when you’re out at the bar or concert? Well, your moment has finally arrived.

At Milan Design Week, as part of Heineken’s Lounge of the Future concept, Heineken introduced a “smart” beer bottle that interacts with other bottles, its environment and the people around it. Heineken Ignite is the company’s first interactive beer bottle, and they believe this interactive technology will create a more rewarding experience for the drinker. The interactive bottle has wireless networking technology, eight bright LEDs and micro sensors that can tell when people clink their bottle and say “Cheers.” It even reacts when you take a sip and when the music gets bumping. Check out a video of the product below:

I was at an EDM/hip-hop/indie music festival last month, and this little gem would have been so fun to have. Although I’m not a huge beer drinker (what about LED wine bottles??), I can see the appeal of this. And when you’re out at a club or concert, I feel people who may not even be Heineken drinkers will want to buy a bottle just for the cool light show and to play around with their friends. Cheers Heineken!

Bubba’s Hover

Bubba Watson has a pretty sweet life. He has a green jacket from winning the Masters in 2012, made tons of money and now he has a hovercraft. Seriously.

Watson has teamed up with Oakley to create the hovercraft golf cart called “BW1.” This thing can go over grass, sand and water without destroying any of the course. Plus it looks pretty bad ass.

This guy is awesome. Where we can buy our own?