Mini-review: Baby's RemoteEar

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Leaving a Windows Phone in a baby's room, dedicated for use as a baby monitor, seems a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but then smartphones are getting ever cheaper and this system does allow you to be anywhere in the world, not just in the next room. Baby's RemoteEar is strangely named, but works well as a remote audio-monitoring system generally, with intelligent use of recordings and 'toasts'...

According to the developer:

The app allows the transmission of sounds from your child, from a Windows Phone to another Windows Phone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the app within your own four walls, or on the road as a baby monitor.

The app offers two different modes. In “IN-HOUSE” mode the app behaves like a baby monitor. Recorded sounds are played directly. In traveling mode, any occurrence of an event is communicated by a push message. You can repeatedly hear the recorded sounds and decide whether it is required to go home or not.

“Baby´s RemoteEar” consists of two separate apps. One app is used as a baby unit and the other as the parent unit.

The baby unit app can be installed for free. It is a test mode available, which enables 30 minutes of monitoring. After that, the microphone is turned off. If you like, you can restart directly.

Just to avoid confusion, here are the links to the two parts of the application: the baby/monitoring end; and the parent/remote end. Partly as a way to keep generating income and partly to offload server costs, the developer has put in time-based unlocking of the main monitoring application with small IAPs:

There are different subscriptions through in-app purchases available to take advantage of the full range of functions (30/90/180/365 days). Thus, something for everyone. Who needs a solution such as only for his vacation, you can use the app e.g. for 30 days. The parent unit app is, by the way, completely free of charge.

This seems fair enough, we're talking about a baby here, and the amounts involved are tiny, only £1 for 90 days use, for example. One presumes there is AN adult in the same house as the baby though - you can't just go off down the pub and leave the application on!

Incidentally, the terms and conditions say that the application is only for baby monitoring and must under no circumstances be used to leave in someone's room in order to spy on them. Oh no. That's not allowed at all. Really(!)

I was impressed by the ease of set-up and the degree of though that had gone into the app-pair system. Here's it all in action:

Screenshot, Baby's RemoteEarScreenshot, Baby's RemoteEar

There's a distinct theme through the application, everything's clear and bold; (right) there's plenty of help text and tips on set-up too (battery/power/sensitivity/handset volume, etc.)

Screenshot, Baby's RemoteEarScreenshot, Baby's RemoteEar

A secure key and a memorable alpha token are generated and have to be input on the parent unit as well, with the developer's server keeping track of which audio and notifications get sent to who; (right) I loved the ability to change the microphone sensitivity, giving the flexibility not to keep notifying you for every small cough but kick into action for an actual cry. 

Screenshot, Baby's RemoteEarScreenshot, Baby's RemoteEar

A QR code aids you in getting the right application installed onto the parent/remote Windows Phone and then it's off to the races (not literally, hopefully!) with the application monitoring your small offspring....

Screenshot, Baby's RemoteEarScreenshot, Baby's RemoteEar

On the parent/remote unit here, toasts appear every time the noise threshold is exceeded, with short bursts of recorded audio available via the server; (right) here there have been several alerts and I've listened to a couple of them ("Waaaahhhh!")

There are some subtleties in how you configure the remote application, but I'll let you play with these yourself. In the meantime, grab this in the Windows Phone Store: the baby/monitoring end; and the parent/remote end.

Source / Credit: WMPU