Just when you thought your iPhone couldn’t get any better, along comes a new product that will make you love it even more. The brand new Withings Smart Baby Monitor can turn your iPhone into your very own parent monitor, so you can watch your baby from anywhere in the world. All you need is one camera in your baby’s bedroom and a free app, and that’s it. Is it as good as it sounds? It could well be, depending on your internet connection.
French company Withings has launched the very first digital video monitor of its kind. Using your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad as a parent monitor, all you need is the very cool-looking white camera unit that sits in your baby’s nursery, then you download a free app called WithBaby, connect through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and you can t watch your baby from the comfort of your own home or out and about.
The Smart Baby Monitor does most things you’d expect from a monitor - it has night vision, temperature and humidity sensors, lullabies, a nightlight, talk-back function, motion and sound sensors and the ability to store photos. And, with a 3 megapixel high-resolution camera, it’s a pretty good picture too.
Want to use your iPhone whilst your baby is asleep? Just quit the application and keep the audio monitoring on, so you can carry on as usual.
What I really love about this monitor is the flexibility it offers. I can see my daughter Heidi whilst sitting on my sofa, or when I’m out for a meal with my husband. I switch on my phone, and although there’s someone there with her, I can have a little look just to make sure everything’s OK and put my mind at ease. And, you can use more than one phone, as long as you know the username and password, so my husband can have a cheeky look from his desk at work while Heidi’s having her daytime nap.
As you would hope from a revolutionary new monitor, the Withings Smart Baby Monitor looks stylish. A glossy white box, it opens up like it’s about to reveal a diamond ring. Yep, it’s certainly got the desirability factor!
The attention to detail is marvellous, like the cool spherical nightlight that’s not too obtrusive and changes colour and intensity, which you can control. Then there are the lullabies that are actually clear and soothing. It isn’t just an iPhone monitor, it’s actually a very good technical monitor.
Despite these great features, it’s still very simple to set up. As soon as you upload the app it pretty much takes you through step by step what you need to do to launch the programme and it’s simple to use. But, if you do get stuck, there isn’t much help instruction-wise past the setting up stage.
The picture is great. I was initially concerned I might not be able to see much on my iPhone screen having initially tested it on an iPad, which is a lot bigger. However I could see Heidi perfectly on my phone’s screen.
There’s a log of everything going on through the night, which is great for noticing patterns of sleep and why your child might be waking at certain times, and alerts to let you know if there’s any activity even when you’re not watching the screen.
Overall, I love the concept and it’s a great piece of equipment – very good for impressing fellow diners when out!
I suppose the one thing that lets the Withings Smart Baby Monitor down for me is the thing that is so great about it - relying on your iPhone. I found myself looking at a sign that said ‘buffering’ quite a lot of the time, which meant I kept missing out on small chunks of activity. This was such a shame as when it was working it worked really well and I could see Heidi clearly, but it did tend to buffer at crucial moments when she moved and I’d miss it. I guess you’re very much at the mercy of your internet connections. For this reason, I've only given the Smart Baby Monitor a score of 3 out of 5 for its "interference-free" rating, though it doesn't have any interference in the typical sense.
There can also be a delay. When I spoke through my iPhone it took a while for the message to get through, and then for Heidi to respond, which became frustrating at times. The images coming through on my iPhone were delayed, too.
The monitor sits on top of a clip, which attaches to your cot. This easily detaches, which could cause a bit of a problem if you have an older child who can stand up. I know after a period of time, Heidi would realise this and would see pulling it off as a fun game.
One final niggle is that if you watch any videos on your phone, the monitor will stop working while you’re watching it. You then have to re-launch the WithBaby app, which is quick and easy, but I guess it depends on whether you want to listen out for your baby every movement.
Parents with iPhones who love style, up-to-the-minute gadgets and spending time out and about.
The Withings Smart Baby Monitor is a fantastic concept, and definitely a must-have for parents who love their iPhones. It does everything a monitor should do very well, looks chic and offers a great solution for watching your baby when out. Just beware of the ‘buffering’ if you’re a parent who wants constant baby monitoring as you may miss small chunks of activity.
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