The Exmobaby Onesie: Next Big Registry Item?

Young baby boy with mouth open, studio

What do babies mean when they kicks their legs, scrunch their faces and make those funny eh-eh-eh sounds? It’s 2012; hasn’t science found a way to translate baby body language into words parents can understand? Maybe so.

The Exmobaby “smart garment” (pictured) is the first of its kind: a sophisticated onesie lined with biosensors that transmit data about your baby directly to your PC or cell phone.

The non-contact ECG sensors track your baby’s vital signs (including heart rate, movement, skin temperature and moisture), send that data via wireless network to your PC or phone and then, over time, presumably learn to interpret that information to give you clues about your baby’s state of mind – AKA tell you what your baby’s thinking.

From the Exmobaby FAQs page:

Normally, these data, if tracked over time, enable a system to “guess” from a series of words that could be used to describe an emotional state: anger, fatigue, depression, joy, etc. For this to work, normally the subject would confirm or deny the system’s assessment….Parents will be asked to name states, such as “giggly” or “grumpy,” and the system can and will alert them when the underlying readings that match those states are detected.

I have to agree this is pretty cool, but I wonder how practical it is in real life. If my baby’s heart rate is elevated, his body is warm, and he’s screaming his head off, chances are I don’t need an electronic suit to tell me he’s “grumpy,” you know?

The Exmobaby basic kit starts at $1,000 and includes a single onesie (in pink or blue) plus 6 months of online service, PC and smartphone software, and a receiver. The Deluxe kit offers 3 more outfits (in sizes up to 12 months) and will cost you a cool $2,500.

As with personal cord blood banking, I can see this being a great product – maybe even a lifesaver – for parents in special circumstances. If your baby requires constant monitoring for a medical issue, for instance, this might be a great option (although I bet most parents of those babies would still have a hard time relying on a machine instead of their own eyes and instincts).

But for the average family with the average baby? Even though it can be frustrating to try to figure out what your baby wants and needs, I still think caring and attentive parents can do a better job of that than a computer.

What do you think?