Amazon has unleashed a new baby activity skill API for Alexa that will make it easier for parents to record information about their babies. Parents can log information for diaper changes, feeding schedules, and more, completely hands-free. Currently, there are interfaces for the baby apps Weight, Sleep, DiaperChange, and Infant Feeding, but more will be added in the future. The API is only supported in the United States as of now. Directions on how to add Alexa to baby apps are available on the Amazon Alexa blog.
Alexa’s integration with baby apps makes it easier for parents to log their babies’ activities. Many of these apps have issues with customer retention, as parents may be too tired or otherwise occupied to manually log data.
“With this new capability, parents will be able to easily record events hands free and have rapid access to the information. Our initial tests show an increase in engagement from the parents who use the Baby Activity skill for Alexa,”
said Xavier Launay, founder and CEO of the app Baby Connect, which tracks pumping schedules, activity, medical information, sleep, diaper changes, feeding, and more.
The Baby Activity Skill API simplifies the process which baby apps use to create Alexa skills, doing the majority of the work needed to enable user interaction. Amazon has released “data management directives for adding activities, timer directives for timing a session, and query directives for asking questions about the data,” according to the Alexa blog. User utterances include “Alexa, when was John’s last diaper change?” and “Alexa, log a five-ounce bottle for Jack.”
Amazon Alexa skills are not the only ways for parents to harness smart home technology. Baby monitors from Snuza and Cocoon Cam allow parents to track their babies via mobile apps. The Snuza Hero SE is a wearable baby monitor that listens to babies’ breathing. If the baby stops breathing or breathing becomes weak, the Hero will vibrate to try to wake the baby, then sound a high-pitched alarm.
Cocoon Cam, on the other hand, is a camera with a built-in breathing monitor. From the app, parents can livestream footage of their babies and receive notifications regarding breathing, crying, and movement. It remains to be seen whether Snuza or Cocoon Cam will take advantage of Amazon Alexa’s new Baby Skill API, although they are both obvious candidates.