Posted: October 3rd, 2012 |
Author: Pablo |
Filed under: Peeko Infant Monitor, Technology
Tags: baby monitor Dulcie + Chao argument i got tag happy! makerbot onesie parent feedback peeko Peeko app product development rapid prototyping smartphone app wearable sensor
As you may know, we’re into rapid prototyping at Rest Devices (check out this stellar – and inadvertently hilarious – post by the folks at Makerbot). We use our Thing-O-Matic 3D printer for just about everything, and we just got a desktop injection-molding machine that takes our plastics development to the next level. Our compulsive habit of “iterating › testing › iterating” has served us exceptionally well as we’ve worked on Peeko. Not everything works (not so surprising), but some things actually end up working really well (super surprising). And, perhaps best of all, we’ve been able to do this on a ridiculously fast timeline. Yes, we work hard, as seen in Thomas’ histogram of his caffeine consumption for the first three weeks of product development here, but our ability to cycle through ideas and gather feedback has been critical to our process thus far.
There are a hundred different things that we’ve worked on, and here are a couple of highlights:
- Our sensor design has changed quite a bit. Not only did we have to make the sensors more appealing for baby apparel – the goal is to get moms to squee with delight when they see the Peeko bodysuit—we also had to increase the durability significantly. The SleepShirt sensors were designed for about 7 nights’ worth of testing, but Peeko is meant to be used day-to-day. Add the never-ending struggle to dress a squirmy baby, and our engineering team has had an interesting challenge. The results, while not visible to the naked eye, have thus far been a great new sensor design we are currently testing. Stay posted to see how these continue to evolve!
Our bodysuit progress thus far.
- We are by no means experts in smartphone app design, but we knew parents could tell us what we’re doing right and wrong and go from there. We also can’t discount the emphasis we have placed on displaying data to parents—our goal is to provide parents with peace of mind, not more anxiety. To do so, we’ve been working through the best and simplest ways to show parents that their baby is, in fact, a-ok (and the most convenient way of letting them know that something is awry). We’re admittedly not there yet, but we are focusing a significant part of our effort into getting this component right, and we look forward to hearing from more parents as we test over the next several weeks.
Phone app snapshots
Dulcie and Chao in a heated debate over our app user flow!
We are incredibly thankful to all the parents we’ve worked with and who have answered question after question; we know that parenting is exhausting, and your help has pushed this product to where it is now. We can’t wait to get a great product into the hands of every caring parent, but, in the meantime, we’ll keep iterating, testing, and proto-typing!
And, if you’d like to provide feedback, we’d love to hear from you! Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dulcie Madden at email@example.com.
Pablo & Dulcie
Posted: September 14th, 2012 |
Author: Dulcie |
Filed under: Peeko Infant Monitor
Tags: learning making decisions monitors parent feedback
Exploring Infant Monitors, Part 2
Over the last six weeks, our team has immersed itself in all things baby and parenting (see Pablo’s recent blog post). From ripping apart different types of monitors to wandering the aisles of Babies ‘R’ Us to talking to countless parents, we’ve done our fair share of research. Here’s a little about what we learned (or affirmed, given what we’d already heard about the market):
- New parents will try anything to make sure their child is safe, secure, and happy. We heard from countless parents who bought one monitor via their registry, and then ended up purchasing, two, three, even six more, as the system either didn’t work out (they ended up wanting video; too many false positives) or broke. This goes for almost every product they buy, whether it’s a carrying system (Baby Bjorn or sling?), activity station (ExerSaucer or Jumperoo?), or sleeping system (bodysuit, footsie, sleepsack, or swaddle?).
- Simplify, simplify, simplify. Because parents end up buying so many products, anything we can do to minimize the “junk factor” is welcomed. We initially thought that parents would want to have a separate handheld, bedside station, but talking to parents proved us wrong – it rapidly became apparent that the majority of parents prefer to use what they already have (i.e. a smartphone), as it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Parents rely on three things to make their purchasing decisions for baby-related shopping: word of mouth (one mom said she literally asked a friend to write a list of everything she should buy and followed it almost exactly); online reviews (Consumer Report, Buy Buy Baby, Babies ‘R’ Us, Amazon, etc); and parenting magazines (either purchased or, more likely, read while sitting at the ob/gyn’s office). It was astounding to hear just how socially sensitive these decisions are, though it also totally makes sense, as parenting is overwhelming and who better to trust than your friends and family who have done it before?
- The market is nuts. Prices for monitors range from $30 to $350, and there is no end to the variations you can purchase (audio, movement, video; ranges from 400 – 1000 feet; internet accessibility; walkie-talkie features; infrared; etc). This could be daunting for us, as we’re a small start-up, but we also know that we’ve got the hustle, know-how, and willingness to learn to make a great new product.
- Each parent’s sleep routine for their baby is a work of art. There are quite a few different solutions and ways of doing things, and each parent has their own discrete system that evolves over time. As a resource constrained startup, we can’t cater to every parent’s individual preferences off the bat, but we’re hoping that initially we can offer a couple of apparel options that will cover a large part of the market. From there, we can start to diversify for everyone else and add in different styles.
At any rate, we’ve loved talking with parents, and we look forward to speaking with many more. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Dulcie at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from anyone and everyone!