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CES Gears Up for Baby

Ah, yes CES. The Consumer Electronics Show. Considered the original tech conference, it is old enough to be SXSW’s grandfather. Yet in 2015, it remains as relevant as ever. At this year’s conference, established companies and start-ups share a common thread—Start with Smart.

Designers dream up a variety of gizmos to wise up our daily lives. Maybe your green thumb starts with a Bluetooth planter that monitors temp, moisture and fertilizer levels. Let’s say you supersized your lunch, a smart belt automatically adjusts, then reminds you to get off your keister. Smart ideas no doubt. Yet two questions rise to the top. Does the smart new gadget fulfill a legitimate need? And, are the costs to make it ‘Smart’ really worth it to consumers?

To help answer these questions, innovators focus on specific market segments. Just as wise marketers use segmentation to tailor product offerings and fine-tune communications. So, what consumer segment did many inventors set their sights on this year? New moms. Makes perfect sense, too. New parents find themselves in a world of mind-numbing new challenges. They want help. The good news is they’re willing to pay for it too.

Innovation isn’t cheap but something that promises better naps is worth its weight in gold iPhones. Enter the mamaRoo. This smartphone-enabled baby seat delivers a range of motions from swinging to waves to car rides. With the companion app, moms can even lull little ones to maximum nap potential with white noise through the seat’s internal speakers. Rock-a-bye baby, indeed.

A pacifier can be a godsend. However, a misplaced binky can send even a Zen mom over the edge. Meet the Pacif-i. Built-in sensors alert a parent’s smartphone when the pacifier gets left behind. This super soother even tracks a child’s temperature. Which might help new parents understand why the tot is fussy in the first place. And when the pacifier is missing, mom can ping it. An alarm buzzer on the Pacif-i alerts mom to its location. If found in the dog’s water bowl (again), the pacifier is water-resistant and dishwasher proof.

Which of these will prove as popular as Sophie the Giraffe? No one knows. However, as Millennials start decorating nurseries, marketers can confidently expect growth in ‘Smart’ baby gear.