By Kelli B. Grant
Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.
Last year, one of the most-buzzed about CES innovations was a baby monitor from Withings that lets parents use an app on their cellphone to peek in via a connected camera perched in baby’s room.
This year, the company has a new app-connected product for parents: a scale that weighs baby and keeps a timeline of his or her progress that can be emailed to the pediatrician, or — for parents who like to over-share — posted to Facebook. As baby ages, buyers can take the top off the scale to transition it into a kid-sized version of adults’ bathroom staple.
We’re skeptical that a baby scale will create the same kind of interest or demand as a high-tech baby monitor, especially at an estimated price of $150 to $170 when it launches during the second quarter. “If Grandma and Grandpa want to know the baby’s weight every day, I guess this is the way to do it,” says Michelle Madhok, chief executive of deal site Momfinds.com. But largely, she says, it’s just more evidence of parental over-sharing and a broader consumer obsession with tracking all kinds of data.
A Withings spokesman says the scale can serve an important health function for children who are gaining weight faster or slower than pediatricians recommend. He says if that’s the case, the app’s data could result in fewer necessary office visits since the pediatrician could see daily updates. The app also allows parents to receive alerts if the baby’s weight gain is unusual.