- The Washington Times
Friday, January 11, 2019


LAS VEGAS — Here’s a thought: If you’re a parent and can’t tell when your baby’s bottom is wet or soiled — you might not be what’s called “a good parent.”

You might want to stick with being a pet owner.

The Korean company Monit showed off its Diaper Sensor product at CES 2019, a small circular device that fastens on the baby’s bottom and tells, via its many sensors, when urine or feces are present. And for parents who don’t notice quickly enough, not to worry — the device then sends a notification to your smartphone.

Come on now, parents. Just say no.

Come on now, technology world. Do we really have to encourage cluelessness among the caretakers of our most vulnerable?

That Monit isn’t the first to dream up this technology idea is perhaps more eye-widening than the actual product itself.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, actually filed to patent its own version of the “smart nappy” under its Verily division. And what a smart little nappy it was.

“The diaper sensor may include at least one pair of conductive elements positioned within an absorbent region of the diaper,” the patent read. “The diaper sensor may also include a transmitter and a control circuit operatively connected to at least one part of conductive elements and the transmitter.”

And you thought getting those little sticky things on the side of the diaper to stick was difficult.

But weaving gently within the humor is this sobering thought: Newbie parents’ number one job is to bond with their newborns, so as to provide the best baby care. How do these tech-savvy diapers figure into that equation?

In essence, they allow parents to tune out their babies’ cries — to learn to rely on technology, not instincts and common sense.

In essence, they don’t.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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