As we enter the era of wearables, the world is quickly embracing a multitude of small devices that track, record, and present all manner of data people can produce. Now, even babies are embracing the trend. The wearable Mimo Baby Monitor promises to track a baby’s respiration, skin temperature, activity level, and body position, while also alerting parents to any sudden change. For new and easily worried parents, the promise of wearable monitors means less stress and worry, but in a burgeoning marketplace, can the Mimo Baby Monitor meet their expectations?
The Mimo baby monitor consists of four components: a kimono style onesie, a small monitor in the shape of a turtle that attaches to the onesie, the lilypad charging station, and a smartphone app that displays the incoming data. Upon unboxing it becomes clear that Mimo has put a lot of time and thought into the design of the product. The organic cotton kimono style of the onesie (available in multiple sizes) comes in a neutral cream color with green accents around the non-contact, machine washable sensors. The kimono is easy to put on and take off, with the small monitor hub on one side that the turtle snaps into. The turtle itself is adorable and easily clicks in and out of both the kimono and lilypad, but is secure enough to keep tiny hands from prying it free. The matching green lilypad is both cute and well-designed, and functions as the charger and wifi bridge between the monitor and the app. There are lights to indicate when it is connected to your home network or charging the turtle, and there is a built in microphone that allows the Mimo to stream all of your baby’s sounds in real-time. The iOS and Android smartphone app allows users to review the constant stream of their baby’s data, set alerts if things change, and view long term data analytics.
Installation is easy and straightforward: plug the lilypad into a wall outlet, charge the turtle on the lillypad, download the app and enter your wifi info. As the app passes your wifi credentials to the monitor, you simply dress Baby in the onesie, attach the turtle to the kimono’s holder, and begin monitoring. Unfortunately, at this point everything quickly goes downhill.
This is the frustrating component of the Mimo Baby Monitor: attractive product design with impressive hardware that is dragged down by software that feels rushed and buggy. Most parents are going to buy the Mimo baby monitor to track breathing and activity levels, but testing showed frequent misreadings. Our test baby would be peacefully laying asleep, while the app reported he was active and upright. Even worse: detaching the monitor from the onesie and laying it off to the side away from the baby would still show that the baby was sleeping and breathing steadily, completely undermining any trust in the monitor. Unlike other wearable related apps, the data displayed in the app frequently lacks any qualifying metrics, leaving the user to guess at what the various graphical representations mean.
What We Love
Clearly a lot of thought and effort was put into the design and production of the product. The kimono looks good and the hardware has character.
What You’ll Struggle With
Unfortunately, none of that throught and effort seems to have reached the app, which seems more like an afterthought one is forced to endure as opposed to the centerpiece of the experience.
So, does the Mimo Baby Monitor fulfill the promise of being the prefect wearable baby monitor? In it’s current state, the short answer is no. There is potential that the Mimo Baby Monitor will become a convenient and useful product for parents to track babies and infants, but not in its current incarnation. However, in a time where app updates can reconstitute and revolutionize hardware, there is hope that a parent’s dream of the perfect wearable baby monitor is only an update away.