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Baby sensor “Baby Ai” based on proprietary vital sensor technology, gently monitors the breathing of infantsLiquid Design Systems Inc.

2019.04.16

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Baby Ai housing. Humidity and temperature are detected through vents at the top of the device shown in the photo

Points to remember

  • Improve the safety of infants when they nap during the day and significantly reduce the burden on childcare workers
  • Contribute to the improvement of the quality of life by using vital sensor technology

Liquid Design Systems Inc. is a company that solves various social issues by developing unique technologies with its proprietary vital sensor technology and expanding the products.

“Vital sensor” is a technology that measures respiration and heart rate of humans to sense movement. This technology was originally developed by a research institute of a large electric manufacturer in the 1990s. After many twists and turns, the company inherited the development and sales in 2013 and started the development of prototypes using the vital sensors.

Products using vital sensors were first developed for nursing care. Since the “Problem of significant increase in the elderly population in 2025” was a topic when the product was designed in 2014, the company considered that there would be a big market. However, the expectation did not materialize. The sensors developed for nursing care were premature and did not receive any attention.
Then there was a turning point for the company. In around 2015, they received inquiries about the sensors for nursing care like “Can it be used in nursery schools?”.

In 2017, the death of infants due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at a nursery school was widely discussed. Due to this incident, nursery school staff focused on sensors for nursing care. A device was required to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Inquiries from nursery schools gave a push to the development of sensors for infants by the company.

It took several years of trial and error to convert the sensors used in nursing care for infants. The reason was that the weight on the mat is different in the case of infants compared to nursing care. While infants weigh between 3 to 10 kg, the weight was ten times higher in nursing care, and babies were too light to be sensed at first. Such problems were solved to pass the demonstration tests for use at nursery schools, and the nursery school baby sensor “IBUKI PLUS” was released at the end of 2017.

After the device was used by a nursery school in Koganei City, Tokyo, there were inquiries from other nursery schools. Tokyo started a subsidy system for measures to prevent SIDS, and it was also a factor in promoting sales.

The features of the nursery school baby sensor “IBUKI PLUS” are as follows.

〇A sensor function with high-precision sensing by just laying it under a futon
(Data obtained in the ECG demonstration test was almost the same compared to medical devices affixed directly to the body)
〇Reacts when there is a problem with breathing (during hypopnea or shallow breathing) and sounds an alert
(There are many false positives with products of competitors, which complicates the duties of childcare workers)
〇The nap check app significantly reduces the burden of child care workers
(Normally, when an infant takes a nap, it is essential to check the state of breathing and body movements and add it to the nap checklist. Such tasks are automatically executed via the sensor and app)

The nursery school baby sensor “IBUKI PLUS” received immense appreciation from nursery schools after it was released. This appreciation was shared with the general public, and the needs of individuals also increased considerably.
“Baby Ai” is a new baby sensor that has been improved for general consumers, incorporating the various feedback received by the company on “IBUKI PLUS”. It has the following features.

〇Mattress integrated type (“IBUKI PLUS” is a type laid under the duvet)
〇A foldable mattress that is compact when stored. Convenient to carry as it is provided with a handle
〇It is equipped with a “Nursing button” to pause the alarm during breastfeeding.
〇It is equipped with a “Temperature and humidity sensor” to prevent heat stroke and influenza
〇Improved body design for consumers
〇Product cost reduced while maintaining the performance

Since the special mattress can be folded, it can be carried when traveling by car

“Baby Ai” with the above features will be marketed to general consumers in the future. If such a device is propagated more among families with infants, it will improve the safety of infants. The device will enable parents to spend more time with their children, and they will be able to spend each day more comfortably.

At present, they are also receiving inquiries from the nursing care business, which was their original target. Though the timing had not matched during the previous development stage of the product, now there is a demand for such sensors in the nursing care field. The product release is planned in the fall of 2019, with the addition of functions such as detection of getting out of bed, which is different from that of infants.
In addition to infants and nursing, the focus of Naoya Toyama, the representative director of the company is on “Sleep”. Mr. Toyama said “I too have sleep-related problems, and some employees suffer from snoring. I hope that products which can improve sleep will be developed in the future using vital sensors”.

To improve the quality of life of all generations. The passion of the company for product development will continue.

Interview Date: March 6, 2019

 

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Our company makes original vital sensor tech for developing unique technologies to solve societal issues across a number of industries. We specialize in product and software development using vital sensors.

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