New parents are faced with many conundrums and one of the most nerve-wracking is how to check a diaper without waking a sleeping baby. Korean startup Monit’s new Bluetooth sensor wants to make sniff tests a thing of the past by alerting parents as soon as their baby’s diaper is soiled. Later on, the sensor can be turned into a portable air quality and temperature monitor, extending its usefulness.
Small, flat and round like a macaron, the Monit sensor helps parents who are worried about changing diapers in time to avoid accidents and skin irritation. Founder Tony Park began working on Monit because one of his two daughters suffered from atopic dermatitis and he needed to make sure she was always in a dry diaper. He submitted his idea to C-Lab, an incubator program for projects by Samsung Electronics employees, and got enough funding to work on Monit for one year. Now its first products—the sensor and a baby carrier called Bebefit—are getting ready to ship this summer in Korea, before expanding into the U.S. and major Asian markets like China and Japan.
“I had trouble understanding my babies, because I didn’t know why they were crying, why they were yelling, why they didn’t sleep, so I really wanted to understand their behavior and their surroundings,” says Park.
One of the benefits of Monit’s sensor is that it goes outside the diaper and can detect feces and urine by monitoring a combination of temperature, humidity and gas. Park says this sets Monit apart from similar products that only detect urine and must be placed instead the diaper to work.
The sensors can be embedded into the hip of its new baby carrier, which was also inspired by Park’s experiences. As new parents know, finding the perfect baby carrier—one that is not too hot nor too flimsy, supportive without being bulky, decently ergonomic, and comfortable for both infants and adults—can be a complicated process. Park carried his babies constantly to soothe them, but after a while he developed shoulder and back pain. He worked with Samsung Medical Center to design the Bebefit carrier’s adjustable hipseat. It lets parents shift where their baby’s weight is centered throughout the day.
“Our idea is very simple but powerful. When you carry a briefcase, you can move it to your right hand and back again when you feel pain,” says Park. “Our hipseat lets you toggle the center of weight on your waist and between your waist and shoulders.”
Monit is currently making prototypes to prepare for mass production, with the goal of hitting the market by August.