A Handheld Nanny
Featuring a harmonious blue background and a portrait of your pride and joy, Evoz’s interface alone could easily displace the cumbersome wallet inserts of yore. Marketed as the preeminent parenting accessory for active professionals, the company’s website states, “Evoz is the start-of-the-art baby monitor with unlimited range designed for working and active parents. The service includes monitoring, active crying alerts, data collection, curated content and referrals to parenting specialists and sleep experts.” Parents can create multiple “Play Rooms” that they can listen in on remotely and features what they have termed “intelligent crying identification technology” that successfully differentiates between background noise and the melodious sound of a real, crying child. Additionally, users are notified by either a call, text, or e-mail if their child has been crying for 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes, or for the hyper-vigilant, 30 seconds. However, while certain parenting precepts and habits can generally be agreed upon, Evoz’s referral feature begs the question of how parenting experts earn their distinction, and if one can truly give sound advice pertaining to a child’s health based on statistical data alone.
An Intercom for the Mobile Generation
With mobility functioning as a feature which differentiates it from anachronistic intercom systems, the website assures that “Evoz uses WiFi to connect parents and their babies so range is never an issue. If a phone has service, parents can listen to their child with the click of a button.” While the limitless range of the Evoz product provides parents with a great deal of physical freedom, it may come at the cost of greater anxiety. However, it’s quite likely that the restless parents utilizing it already employ babysitters or nannies. As a result, Evoz may be harnessed more often than not as a surveillance tool to monitor one’s child care provider instead of one’s child, thereby promoting more attentive care.
“At Evoz, we want to give parents insight into their baby’s behaviors. We provide sleep data on how long the baby has slept, how long they’ve cried and comparative data with other children in the same age and location and can refer parents to experts if behaviors change.”
Evoz compiles data tracking the number of times a baby cries during the night and during the day, the average duration of each cry, the amount of noise in the room, and the quality of sleep--quality being equated with length. This data can subsequently be charted and analyzed over time, by day, week, month, or season. The comparison feature, while appealing to one’s natural curiosity, has the potential to create unnecessary anxiety. Parents may panic if their child is sleeping or crying more or less than other children their age, or seek to manage their child’s biological rhythms with the precise timing of a marathon runner.
Evoz has managed to capitalize on parental instincts in a utilitarian, if only slightly Orwellian way. Whether it will replace the maternal instinct or simply enhance it, save lives, or serve as fodder for crippling hypochondria, is something which time will reveal. Regardless, the digitization of rearing habits represents a radical, yet logical step in the evolution of parenting.