Every year, the CES gadget shows other devices that promise to make life a little easier for parents in need.
Of course, children could even worship them: who would not want a computerized Harry Potter wand that also teaches programming?
The sector & # 39; family tech & # 39; the Las Vegas entertainment industry is growing and includes products ranging from artificially intelligent toys, baby monitors to breast pumps connected to the internet.
Among the salient achievements of this year's event was a device designed to make the pumping breasts a smoother experience, complete with integrated massagers that can reduce total pumping time.
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Every year, the CES gadget shows other devices that promise to make life a little easier for parents in need. The Smartbeat video baby monitor and the respirator are on display at the Smartbeat stand
The Imalac "Nurture" breast care device uses attachable cups to simulate hand pumping, according to the company's Kickstarter.
"Nutrition will drastically improve the ef fi ciency and ease of expression of milk when used in combination with an electric breast pump," says the company.
According to Imalac, the device can help reduce pumping time by over 70 percent and increase the amount of milk expressed by 30 percent.
Their common thread is an appeal to parents' anxiety to raise smart children, occupy their time, track down their location and make sure they are healthy and safe.
Some even come with subtle compromises. "Technology makes us forget what we know about life," said psychologist Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies people's relationships with machines.
The Imalac Breast Care Device & Nurture & # 39; uses attachable mugs to simulate hand pumping, according to the company's Kickstarter
She is particularly worried about robots trying to make friends or babysit young children.
Get the cute hairy Woobo, designed to be a real-life version of a child's imaginary friend who can help you set up routines to brush your teeth, answer complex questions and play educational games.
It is part of a new dairy industry of sociable toys, which includes robots like Cozmo and Sony Aibo like the dog.
A slight tear to the ears pushes the Woobo with screen in listening mode. The $ 149 games in a child's voice make a game of boring chores that would otherwise require the annoyance of a parent.
According to Imalac, the device can help reduce pumping times by over 70 percent and increase the amount of milk expressed by 30 percent
The cute hairy Woobo, thought to be a real-life version of a child's imaginary friend who can help set up routines to brush their teeth, answer complex questions and play educational games. A talking robot Woobo is on display at the Woobo booth
Mary Mendiola wears the Owlet Band pregnancy monitor at the Owlet stand at CES International, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. The device is able to monitor fetal heart rate, kicks and contractions
Its creators say that Woobo does not paste children on the screen because he invites them to find things at home, help parents cook dinner or play family games like charades.
"Our goal on the content side is not to replace parents," said Shen Guo, who co-founded Woobo of Cambridge, Massachusetts, after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. "It's to improve family time."
But his fascination with emotional attachment and the education of a child triggers alarm bells for Turkle, who warned against what she calls "artificial intimacy" from the mania for pets Tamagotchi digital from the 90s.
Research has shown the benefits of children playing their inner feelings and concerns by projecting them onto inert dolls.
Miku baby's sleep and breathing monitor is on display at the Miku booth at CES International
But Turkle says it does not work when toys seem real enough to have their feelings.
"To pretend that empathy is not a good thing," said Turkle.
"All we know about children's development is that if you read for a child, what is happening is the relationship, the talk, the connection, the mentoring, the security, the sense that people love to learn.
"Why do we think it's a good idea to give this to a robot? & # 39;
Talk to the creators of the next generation of baby monitors unveiled at CES and you will be surprised that generations of children survive childhood without artificial intelligence systems that analyze their every breath.
A Nanit Plus baby breathing monitor is mounted on a crib at the Nanit stand (shown on the left). On the right, a model wears the Owlet Band pregnancy monitor at the Owlet stand
One participant tests the monitor for sleep and breathing of the Miku child at the Miku stand at CES International
"Children want to breathe, children want to live," says Colt Seman, co-founder of the startup Miku in Los Angeles, who promises to monitor breathing and heart rate without letting the parents get excited.
Regulators have not approved any baby monitors for medical use and instead recommend parents to focus on providing a safe sleep environment. Some doctors fear that such devices create additional stress for parents.
The vest attached to Chronolife is on display
Unlike most of the past offers, the latest crop of monitors for children measuring vital signs are "contactless", which means they do not work by attaching some electronic devices to a child's sock or chest.
Raybaby's device resembles a one-eye robot that detects breathing patterns using radar technology.
The non-ionizing radiation it emits is at low levels, but it could still disable some parents already worried about keeping their children too close to their smartphones.
Most other devices are based on computer vision. A Nanit camera looks at a baby from above and measures sleep patterns by following the light movements of a specially designed swaddle.
It also uses the data collected to recommend more consistent sleep times. Aaron Pollack of Nanit acknowledges that some parents may still check the Nanit phone app to check breathing data five times a night "out of sheer anxiety".
"We are not trying to stop it," he said. "We're just trying to give you some sense."
Two more, the Smartbeat based on Miku and Utah, each boast a level of precision and analytical rigor that could ultimately help predict when the child will get sick.
Its creators say that Woobo does not paste children on the screen because he invites them to find things at home, help parents cook dinner or play family games like charades. A man holds a Woobo talking robot at the Woobo booth at CES International on Wednesday, January 9th
Raybaby's sleep and breathing monitors are on display at the Raybaby booth
Both have telephone alarm systems to report the disturbing irregularities of breathing. The analysis of Smartbeat is purely based on images, while Miku also uses radar.
Miku's most elegant hardware comes at a cost: it's $ 399, well above the $ 250 Smartbeat.
Of course, parents' anxiety begins even before a baby is born – hence the new Owlet $ 299 pregnancy band that wraps a woman's abdomen to track the fetal heartbeats by taking an electrocardiogram .
The idea is to wear the elastic band before going to sleep for three or four months before the deadline.
Sends a morning wellness report to a user's smartphone app, with details that include pending mother contractions and sleep positions – and warnings if heartbeats or fetal movements are not within acceptable ranges.
An owl medallion on the mother's belly gives the band the appearance of a superhero emblem – and why not? Pregnancy is hard
"Actually it's just having that extra piece of mind, among the doctor's visits, that all goes well," said Owlet's spokesperson, Misty Bond.