Big Mother Is Watching You: How Parents Are Turning To Sophisticated Robots To Track Their Kids

GPS parenting is on the rise. But is it any wonder? Just days after missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo was laid to rest, we hear reports of a 4-year-old walking home from a Bed Stuy school undetected. The idea of our children going missing, or falling seriously ill when we’re out of sight is obviously a disaster scenario no parent wants to contemplate. But increasingly smart gadgetry is on hand to help parents keep tabs on their children (it’s now a booming industry worth more than $10 billion.) From cyber onsies that monitor a babe’s body temperature, heart rate and activity level to wireless ‘mothers’ who track teeth brushing and snacking habits – here’s our sneak preview of 2014’s most family focused devices.GadgetFilip00

The Theirs and Yours Tracking Watch

When Sten Kirkbak lost his three-year-old son Filip for 30 minutes, it inspired the idea for ‘FiLIP’; a device to keep parents and their young kids in touch. Worn on the wrist, FiLIP connects to an app and allows either party to call each other through the touch of a button using a combination of GPS, GSM and Wi-Fi. Durable to withstand wet, sandy and dirty conditions, FiLIP doubles as a watch and comes in four jazzy colors. From $199 (+$10/month voice and location data),


The Cyber Onesie

For the overly cautious parent who regularly checks the crib throughout the night ‘just to be sure baby is breathing!’, the Mimo Baby onesie provides a solution – it monitors baby’s vital signs. Two green stripes across the chest act as sensors which record respiratory rate, while a clip-on turtle shaped device allows monitoring of body temperature, heart rate and activity level. Information is sent via WiFi to a smartphone app. From $199.


The All-Seeing Mother

The Big Brother of all tracking devices, Mother is an electronic hub for a series of Motion Cookies that measure just over an inch in length. Shaped like a Russian doll, Mother wirelessly connects to these multi-purpose sensors to track a variety of information including movement and temperature. While connected to ‘Mother’, every day household items come alive – you can automatically lower the thermostat in the nursery, monitor access to your home while you’re out, keep track of what the kids are snacking on and heck, it even tells you if your children are brushing their teeth better than you. A Mother ship with four Cookies retails at $222 and ships from February.


The Robo Car

Kids get to turn the tables with this nifty robot car that can spy on any member of the family using an Android smartphone for a brain. Ask it, ‘is mommy in the kitchen?’ and it’ll drive straight over to the kitchen and, using face recognition technology, scan the room for that familiar face. It can hear, talk back and even learn and solve problems autonomously. The robot car is available as a bulldozer, classic car or if you’re feeling swish, as a sports car.


The Road Spy

Keeping an eye on the family while on the road could be the norm when Mojio launches this year. It uses the cellular network to connect your car to the internet; once plugged in, your car becomes fully connected to your life. Via an app on your phone you can see exactly where your car is, where it’s been, set maximum speeds and safe driving zones for teenage drivers in the family and even auto-disable texts and calls. If you’re stuck in traffic and late picking up the kids from school, it automatically detects your location and sends a text to the school to let them know you are late. Slated for distribution in early 2014.


The Star Trek Baby Monitor

Parents on the go can watch their babies from thousands of miles away with this super hi-tech baby monitor. The D-Link Wi-Fi has plenty of functions: night vision, plays lullabies, motion and sound detection, temperature sensors and text alerts. Working lates? Log in from the office and play a lullaby or even soothe them with your voice. $179,



7 Comments on Big Mother Is Watching You: How Parents Are Turning To Sophisticated Robots To Track Their Kids

  1. Suz
    January 30, 2014 at 9:14 am (4 years ago)

    Not sure how I feel about this sort of thing. Seems a bit creepy to spoon your kids to such a degree??

  2. Suz
    January 30, 2014 at 9:15 am (4 years ago)

    Sorry spy on your kids! Not spoon!

  3. mandy
    January 30, 2014 at 9:53 am (4 years ago)

    as someone who has had a TERRIFYING experience in my local park when my youngest child (i have four so it’s impossible to be keeping an eye on all of them at once) went missing for over 2 hours. we later found him at the wardens office thank goodness..(he said he was looking for the ducks!) If i’d had a way of finding him using something as simple as a mobile phone it would have been a godsend. M

  4. leah
    January 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm (4 years ago)

    i might use some of these to keep track of my husband

  5. Yonda
    January 31, 2014 at 8:01 am (4 years ago)

    I had a pretty difficult relationship with my parents. In particular my over protective mother during my teens. I’m glad this sort of thing wasn’t around in my day. I think kids need a level of removal and for their parents to not always be watching their every move. That’s just my opinion.

  6. Johm
    January 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm (4 years ago)

    If kids are old enough to have phones and ipads then I don’t see what’s wrong in wearing a Filip


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