Valentin Loschinin

Interactive Diaper

Tech concept for Philips

A tech prototype of the Interactive Diaper — a small device that notifies parents when it’s time to change their baby’s diaper without having to physically check by themselves.

Interactive Diaper
Interactive Diaper
My Role

Crazy Arduino engineer, Experience designer

School

Hyper Island, Stockholm

Client

Philips Design Lab

Release date

December 2014

Concept

Our idea was to use an Arduino Uno to create a rapid prototype of a small device which could be attached to the waistband of a diaper.

Sketch

The first sketch of the product

The main function was to provide families with a new way of knowing when it’s time to change their babys' diapers, without having to physically check by themselves. It communicated using low frequency bluetooth to send out a signal to devices the family had that used the interactive diaper app.

Experimenting

We started off by creating a paper prototype and conducting brief user research. We presented the potential product to people with babies and asked what they thought about it. Using that feedback we defined what features to include into the Minimum Viable Product and then started experimenting with sensors.

Paper prototype Paper prototype

A paper prototype of the Interactive Diaper

I took the role of an engineer and was responsible for making the diaper capable of detecting certain events. Also I worked on a way of translating numbers from the sensors into meaningfull statuses or signals. I performed several experiments and developed code using Processing.

Processing code

Hardware

The final prototype was packaged into a small box made of cardboard:

Arduino electronic components Arduino electronic components Arduino electronic components

The following describes how each of the sensors worked:

Moisture

The sensor works by using wires that were sewn into the diaper. The wires sense the moisture and the diaper sends out a notification when there is a physical connection between the moisture and the skin. This way a parent can easily get a notification as soon as the diaper had been used. The result is that no more assumptions about whether or not the baby is hungry or needs a diaper change will be required. As well, parents will no longer need to unwrap a sleeping baby in the stroller just to check a smelly diaper.

Experiment with liquid Moisture detection

Temperature

The diapers also contain sewn-in sensors for temperature monitoring which enables parents to determine if the baby is too hot, too cold or just fine, in a quick and simple way.

Experiment with temperature Temperature detection

Orientation

Last but not least the device also contains a gyroscope which makes it possible to monitor the baby’s movement patterns. A parent could, for example, get a notification when the baby is rolling over from their back to their stomach. Of course it also enables parents to see whether or not the child is crawling, standing up or moving around. It even tracks when and if the baby is standing on their head (!)

Orientation detection: on the back Orientation detection: on the front Orientation detection: standing Orientation detection: on the head

Testing

The prototype was not tested in real life because of its size. As an alternative we recorded feedback from real parents and got even more insights about using the potential product.

The next step in the project would be to create a smaller version of the device using The LightBlue Bean, that could actually be attached to the waistband of the diaper.

Creative team