Alphabet’s Nest wants to patent a surveillance crib to monitor your baby’s every move

Excited about the next generation of crib.
Excited about the next generation of crib.
Image: Valentina Powers / Flickr
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Nest, best known for its smart thermostat, applied to patent a smart crib that would keep tabs on infants, and, when necessary, display soothing sounds and images. The Alphabet subsidiary wants to plug it into a smart home system that would make for data-rich nap times. The proposed device includes a thermal-imaging camera, pressure sensors, speakers, microphones, projectors, and air-quality instruments, according to a pending 2014 patent application published for the first time on Thursday.

The crib would integrate with door sensors, home security systems, fire alarms, and other parts of the home to alert parents to any problems. The application mentions an app and artificial intelligence. “A machine learning algorithm may be applied to the data generated or obtained from the sensors of the crib,” it states. “Audio data obtained by a microphone may be analyzed for a child’s crying. Different cries may be associated with different needs of the child.”

Nest filed the application on December 30, 2014 and the Patent and Trademark office published it on June 30 (companies can request delayed disclosure of sensitive patents). Nest’s director of hardware product marketing and management, Maxime Veron, is the only person listed on the patent.

The patent description offers a glimpse into the company Nest wants to become, but has struggled to realize. It has only released three new products since Google acquired it in 2014 for $3.4 billion. A smoke and carbon monoxide detector were recalled because of software problems. It bought Dropcam, a wireless camera startup, and has continued to produce an updated product as Nest Cam.

The image above was taken by Valentina Powers and shared under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.