The baby monitors of tomorrow may be using artificial intelligence to keep kids safe—at least, if Google’s new idea moves forward. The tech giant has filed a patent application for a baby monitor that would use AI to warn parents if their child is uncomfortable or in distress, even before baby wakes up.
The next-gen monitor would use AI, video streaming and audio recordings to monitor baby’s behavior and compare it to a database of normal sleep patterns. When your child makes noise or even move around without making a peep (“in a non-auditory discomfort state” according to Google’s patent), the monitor would be able to detect anything that seems unusual and alert you if baby seems to be in trouble.
The patent—which was filed last year but just recently made public—states that “while a baby’s cry may alert his parents to the baby being in distress, sometimes a baby will not audibly indicate his distress. For example, if the baby is tossing in his sleep, is awake and moving around when the baby is expected to be asleep, or worse, is choking, tangled in bedding, or otherwise is in a dangerous position, the baby is in distress but may not be crying.”
Here’s another AI-powered feature that could prove helpful: The monitor may be able to tell when baby is going to wake up “imminently,” which can mean in 10 minutes or even in two. For any parent who’s rushing to squeeze in some last-minute to-dos or trying to figure out when to plan their next errand, knowing how much time you have before baby is awake can be surprisingly useful.
So are we going to see this baby monitor in stores anytime soon? For now, it’s just a patent, as Google investigates the possibilities the new technology opens up. A Google spokesperson told CNN that the company files patent applications for many of their ideas, and while many eventually become products and services, many don’t. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a baby monitor, check out our top-recommended monitors you can buy right now.