Research company Verily, controlled by Alphabet, has partnered with Procter & Gamble (owns the Pampers brand) to develop a baby care system that includes smart diapers, a baby monitor and a mobile app, writes the Financial Times.
The system was named Lumi. As the publication describes, smart diapers are equipped with sensors that send information to the application that it is time to change the diaper, and also track the child's activity and the duration of his sleep. The system also includes a baby monitor that allows you to monitor your baby through the app from anywhere in the world.
Lumi will be “a major innovation in childcare,” said Omer Sher, Pampers' startup manager. According to him, the development solves several problems at once, for which modern parents now use different gadgets.
Lumi is expected to go on sale in the US this fall. Representatives of the companies participating in the project claim that the detailed information collected by Lumi will be intended only for the parents of the child. But the developers still plan to use the aggregate data to further refine the product.
Nonetheless, data privacy activists have raised the alarm, writes FT. “Parents may find this new system convenient, but they do not recognize the serious risks to their privacy,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. The very emergence of such a system, he said, "illustrates how the absence of a federal consumer data law in the United States puts everyone, even those who are just born, at increasing risk."
Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet. It has been operating independently since 2015, before that it was part of the research company Google X. Verily is creating platforms and tools to solve the problems of people suffering from various diseases.
As the FT notes, the birth of children in the United States in 2018 dropped to a low in more than 30 years. Diaper sales in the US grew by only 4% over the eight-year period. Sales of children's video monitors show a different dynamics - over the past two years they have grown by almost 18%.