Watching from the cot: are smart toys and baby products worth it for parents?

More and more smart baby monitors and AI-powered toys are entering the Australian market, but these expensive products can have a significant privacy cost

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We’re increasingly littering our homes with smart devices from TVs and fridges to home assistants, known broadly as “the internet of things”. The internet of things now extends to devices aimed at new parents, marketed as making parenting easier, and babies safer.

These include the types of products you’d expect (wifi-enabled baby monitors) and a whole range of more surprising objects (remote-operated white noise machines; smart cots that soothe babies to sleep; socks that monitor a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels; smart toys that get to know their child owner). There are even surveillance systems that read the facial expressions, sounds and movements of babies, with the promise of alerting parents to potential dangers lurking in their little one’s cot.

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