Diapers Collect Big Data

Wearable technology is becoming this season’s fashion must-have. Products like Jawbone and FitBit collect data on calorie expenditures and sleep habits, Under Armour’s Armour 39 tracks athletic training and even claims to measure willpower, and this year’s CeBIT show featured a shirt that could measure heart rate and other biometric signals. The future of wearable technology is “all about creating the superhuman,” said designer and professor of fashion technology Dr. Sabine Seymour in a recent interview with SmartPlanet.
Now, what about the superbaby? A New York startup called Pixie Scientific has developed a diaper that can detect possible urinary tract infections, kidney dysfunctions, and dehydration, The New York Times reports.

Wearable technology is becoming this season’s fashion must-have. Products like Jawbone and FitBit collect data on calorie expenditures and sleep habits, Under Armour’s Armour 39 tracks athletic training and even claims to measure willpower, and this year’s CeBIT show featured a shirt that could measure heart rate and other biometric signals. The future of wearable technology is “all about creating the superhuman,” said designer and professor of fashion technology Dr. Sabine Seymour in a recent interview with SmartPlanet.

Now, what about the superbaby?

A New York startup called Pixie Scientific has developed a diaper that can detect possible urinary tract infections, kidney dysfunctions, and dehydration, The New York Times reports. The diaper features a patch with different colored squares that each represents an interaction with a protein, water content, or bacteria; the patches change color if they detect something out of the ordinary. The diaper is accompanied by a smartphone app that takes a picture, makes a precise reading, and transmits the information to a physician.

The diaper will soon be tested at children’s hospitals, and the creators are hopeful that it will become a popular consumer product (even though it will cost about 30 percent more than regular diapers). But they may have some competition. In some markets, Huggies is selling a device called TweetPee that clips to the diaper and alerts parents’ smartphones when babies need to be changed and when diapers are running low; you can watch the adorable Portuguese-language TweetPee commercial here.

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