Evoz, the company behind some of the earliest smartphone-connected baby monitoring systems, is out now with a new product, the Evoz Parenting Monitor, that goes beyond simply capturing video and sharing it to your phone or tablet. Instead, this new monitor is more of a toolbox for parents, the company says, offering the ability to play music, function as a nightlight, record audio, photos, and video, send out "cry" and room temperature alerts, track "baby data" like sleep and wake times, and much more. It even includes access to parenting experts and other tips within its application. Explains Avishai Shoham, founder of Evoz Baby, the company has evolved its product line over the years after realizing that it needed "newer, state of the art technology" to make its systems more valuable to parents. "At the time - four years ago - video camera technologies were not really ready to support all the features and services the company wanted to create, including the complete parenting solution [Evoz has] today," he says. Evoz will continue to support its older products, he notes, but they're no longer shipping now that the Parenting Monitor is the company's main product. The new device itself includes an HD camera, a temperature sensor, a speaker, microphone, USB power plug, eight IR LEDs for night vision video, and various buttons to turn on or off lullabies and the nightlight, among other things. The camera's electronics, meanwhile, include the Wi-Fi modules and the video processing chip, the Ambarella A5, which is from the same family as the chips in GoPro products, Evoz notes. The heavy lifting, however, is done by Evoz' cloud-connected software which collects data from the baby's room, including information on temperature, cries, button pushes, network status, and more. Thanks to the data collected from earlier products over nearly five years, Evoz has now monitored over 150,000 babies and has sent out 6.5 million cry alerts. It has used this data to develop its own algorithms, and the system can now accurately identify when a baby is crying, then send parents an alert via push notification, SMS or email. The actual audio and video monitoring feature can be run from your smartphone or tablet using the free Evoz mobile app. But if you need to use your device for something else, you can choose to just leave the audio running in the background and leave the video view. If parents hear the baby cry, with a press of a button, they can talk to the baby over the monitoring system to quiet him or her...well, in the rare case that the baby can be soothed with the sound of a parent's voice alone, that is. (The audio feature can also be used to communicate with someone else in the room, like a babysitter or nanny, however.) The application also helps to track baby's sleep cycle over time, automatically creating a sleep/wake up log that can help parents trying to sleep train their child. More interesting is that Evoz's software is designed to search for patterns in the data being collected, and can offer parents advice on how to improve baby's sleep. In addition, the Parenting Toolbox includes access to expert videos, posts and tips, and connects parents directly to experts trained and certified by Kim West, the author of the book "Good Night, Sleep Tight" - a sleep methodology she developed. Shoham says these features are just the beginning of what the Evoz connected system can offer, noting that other personalized services are being added over time. This includes a "hidden moments" feature which detects cute or interesting events that take place when parents aren't in the room, and places the clip into a digital scrapbook for you, as well as a language lesson feature for toddlers that will take advantage of the system's speaker, for example. The company is now crowdfunding the new Evoz Parenting Toolbox on Indiegogo, where there are some units left at the $149 price point. (The next step up is $169). When the product reaches retail distribution, it will offer two tiers - $169 for some of the services with others added a la carte, and $199 for the complete service bundle. Evoz says its monitors will begin shipping in April.
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