8. November 2013–
Health tech startup BabyWatch (and recent graduate of Startupbootcamp Berlin's accelerator programme) has announced its newest product – Tedi, an interactive toy and mobile app aimed to track the development of a child. The company is also moving to the US "in the next few months".
Tedi (pronounced like jedi) is BabyWatch's second hardware-software offering. Its first eponymous product, which consists of a small ultrasound device and mobile app enabling pregnant women to track their unborn baby's heartbeat, won this year's Pioneers Challenge in Vienna.
Scheduled to launch January 2014, Tedi's features will include video monitoring, sound pattern (or cry) analysis, tracking of motor skills development and temperature/humidity sensors. The product, which is currently being prototyped, is available to preorder for $99.
Not the only teddy on the market
When asked about where the idea for Tedi came from, BabyWatch founder Urška Sršen said, "As we started developing BabyWatch, we were already thinking, 'what can we offer to our users once the baby is already born?'"
It's not the only interactive health-tracking teddy bear on the market though, Tedi bears a striking resemblance to Teddy the Guardian – another startup with Croatian founders that has developed a plush toy with medical sensors.
On the competition, BabyWatch's Sales and Business Development Manager Morena Šimatić told us: "The girls developing Teddy the Guardian, we actually know them. In the beginning, we were thinking of working together, but they had a completely different vision of what the product should be. For us, it's fun, it's a toy, it's a tool to monitor the child. What they're doing, they have a different vision focusing more on a doctor or hospital environment device that helps kids to feel safe."
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Teddy the Guardian founder Josipa Majić said, "It is a pediatrician tool. It helps nurses to get data in a way that is friendly for the child so the data does not get skewed by the child being stressed." Though the focus is currently on the medical uses of the bear, Majić said there was a large demand from the consumer realm and they "have had €500,000 [$689,000] in preorders."
Moving across the pond
BabyWatch's announcement to move to the US comes as no surprise. In an earlier interview with VentureVillage, Sršen said she planned on moving the startup across the pond – where she sees a larger market potential and more mature quantified self movement.
"The plan is to move to the States by the end of the new year, because that's where our core market is and where our customers are from – so it totally makes sense. We also got a lot of interest from investors in the States and were contacted by Y Combinator at the Pioneers Festival," said Sršen. "We're at the point where we really need to evaluate what the next step is for the company and how to establish from here on..."