Technology has changed the way we live our lives in so many ways, particularly for the better. It’s easy to equate tech with entertainment because video games and movies are now right there in our pockets, but gadgets can also do more than just keep boredom at bay.
At birth and beyond, there is technology keeping us safe day in and day out. Some of this tech has been integrated into things we use every day, like the advancements in automotive design that are making crashes less likely. But there are also new lines of wearables and smart home products created to make caring for a newborn easier, help seniors live independently longer or even keep pets safe from harm.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the best new gadgets that can help you care for and protect your loved ones, whether they’re just born, leaving the nest or enjoying retirement.
With two options – a wearable baby monitor and a smart crib sheet – Mimo monitors your baby’s breathing, body position, sleep activity, waking activity levels and skin temperature. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy to send all of that information, plus live audio like a traditional baby monitor, right to your smartphone.
hereO’s GPS watch
GPS trackers for kids come in all shapes and sizes, but some kiddos are sticklers for style and that’s where this tracker comes out ahead. With a variety of color options and child-friendly sizing, the hereO GPS watch both looks cool and is comfortable enough for all-day wear. Parents will love the robust real-time tracking, proximity alerts, safety-zone settings, location history and tamper alert feature.
Teen drivers are a parents’ nightmare, which makes sense since car accidents are the number one cause of teen fatalities. Worry is inevitable when a teen gets a license, but MobiCoPilot gives parents peace of mind in the form of a window into teens’ driving habits. It plugs into your car’s diagnostic port to track its status (on or off), speed, location, acceleration and braking, and engine and battery condition so you know right away if something is wrong.
Protect your whole family with this peppermill-size entryway camera. More than just a monitoring device, Netatmo Welcome has facial recognition capabilities so it can tell you when your kids get home – or when a stranger has entered your house.
Schlage’s Sense Smart Deadbolt
Smart locks aren’t just cool, they’re also a pain in the neck for potential thieves. While there’s more than one way to open this Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt (key, code or app), Schlage’s Sense Smart Deadbolt comes equipped with a built-in alarm ready to go off when someone tries to tamper with the lock or kick the door in.
Gadgets like this senior fitness tracker plus emergency call button from GreatCall are helping elderly relatives stay in their homes longer. The Lively Wearable is one of the best fitness trackers for seniors, especially if you’re taking care of a loved one from afar. The Lively Wearable has a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) built in and – when worn properly – can detect fall. The stylish smartwatch is comfortable to wear and is waterproof.
Pets are family, too, which is why GPS trackers and activity trackers for dogs and cats are becoming more popular. Devices like Whistle attach to Fluffy or Fido’s collar to monitor location, activity levels, and sleep patterns. You can even set Whistle to send an alert to your smartphone if your pet strays outside of designated areas.
Technology will never make family life perfect. There will always be stresses and squabbles to deal with. But gadgets are clearly doing a lot to make us safer, and that lets us spend more time thinking about and doing the things that make family life great.