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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Dad makes baby monitor with Wiimote

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A new dad has made a monitor for his baby's breathing using a Wiimote.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Anyone who's ever lived with a baby knows that sleep apnoea in infants is a big concern. You can buy specialised monitors, of course, but new Hungarian father Gjoci decided he could do better on his own.

Baby monitors on the market use audio and sometimes video to allow parents to listen to and see their infant asleep. Gjoci's model, though, uses points of light and the Wiimote's motion sensor to detect his baby's movement instead.

After some trial and error using LEDs, Gjoci settled on 1mW laser diodes. Four points of light are positioned over his daughter's body, and every few milliseconds, a program makes sure the lights are still moving. If the baby is breathing — and therefore, in motion — all continues peacefully. However, if no movement is detected, a high-pitched klaxon sounds.

He chose lasers because there were no small parts his baby could accidentally swallow, and the 1mw lasers are too weak to harm his baby's eyes.

It seems dangerous, but the emitted laser power is lower than 1mW and my baby is not able to move so that it can't stare into the beam.

It is not swallowable, and it's easy to set the right position.

It's certainly an ingenious home-grown solution — especially since it's been running continuously for two weeks without crashing and with only a few false alarms.

If you're interested in trying his methods for yourself, he's posted a full breakdown of what he did here, and you can see the monitor in action in the video below.

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JakeM3 posted a comment   

It appears (in the photo) that the infant is surrounded by blankets and is not laying on its back. Good thing that dad has a motion detection system set up because that's "SIDS" waiting to happen.

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