Parents could be able to monitor their growing baby’s development using analytics gathered from the little tyke’s smart tech. Researchers based in California are currently crowd-funding to send Starling into production – a wearable device that tracks the number of words a child says and hears each day.
According to Starling’s creators, tracking at an early age is important because 82 per cent of development happens by age three. “By age four, a child can be 30 million words ahead, or 30 million words behind. This is known as the ‘Word Gap’,” say the researchers.
The Starling uses technology to empower parents to become their child’s first teacher. Described as “deceptively cute”, the Starling comes in a pacifier-size star shape, weighing as much as a bag of chewing gum. Waterproof to protect against the inevitable spill, the device works by clipping on the baby’s clothes, wrist, or stroller and stays there until it’s placed back on its charging dock at night.
The Starling monitors the amount of words a baby hears and blinks green when you've hit your goal for the day. When it blinks red, you've still got some talking to do.
The Starling’s companion app provides the user with the analytics to put their word count into context. It also provides ideas for activities and provides challenges to help motivate the user to spend extra time each day speaking to the child.
“Our goal is to start a revolution in the mindset of parents when it comes to early education. We are starting with parents that already know education starts at birth and that nurturing relationships matter, but ultimately we aim to convince every parent how important their voice is to their child’s future,” says the team.