PROVO — The Owlet Baby Monitor, invented by BYU students, is on a fast track to the spotlight in the infant care world.
The invention won second place and $10,000 this week at the national Innovative Product Competition. The students, including Tanor Hodges and Kurt Workman, took first place at BYU’s Student Innovator of the Year competition in December, in which they also received the crowd favorite award and $6,000.
Through a sock-like sensor fitted to the baby’s foot, the wireless monitor sends heart rate and blood-oxygen information to parents’ smartphones while the little one sleeps, making it possible to know within seconds of any changes in the baby’s breathing or heartbeat. The device uses non-invasive pulse oximetry, which tracks hemoglobin levels in the blood.
Companies entering the Innovative Product Competition were required to have a physical product, enter questions and submit photos and video. The voter-nominated top 50 were then narrowed down by judges who selected the most innovative projects.