I'll admit, my eyes glazed over a bit when a First Alert representative said his connected camera had "non-contact video respiration detection." As he explained further, I understood how important this feature could be. This OneLink by First Alert connected cam functions as a baby monitor with all the normal basics that entails: 1080p video along with an air quality detector. But it brings something new and unexpected to the table -- it monitors and tracks your child's breathing.
On display at the Unveiled press event at CES 2016, the OneLink by First Alert Baby Monitor is still in prototype form. It doesn't even have a finalized name yet, but the representative I talked to was very excited, and thought its respiration detection feature stands to revolutionize the baby monitor market. He wouldn't tell me how exactly it works, but if it does what's promised, it could indeed be a fantastic addition to smart-home baby cams.
From a position near where your child is sleeping, the OneLink Cam will send you a live feed in high definition and will alert you if your child's breathing stops, or even if it changes suddenly. You'll know if your child is taking shallow or deep breaths, and the OneLink cam will track the patterns so you get extra insight into how your baby is sleeping.
Other details on the cam are scarce, though a PR rep for the company confirmed there would be no monthly fees. I'd like to find out the range of the cam, and how far away it can pick up breathing patterns. I'd also like to know what sort of motion and sound alerts are included. I'll be sure to update with more details as they become available, but given that this is still a prototype, that might be awhile. First Alert is aiming to have it on the market by the end of this year.
When I saw it at Unveiled, the OneLink by First Alert Baby Monitor looked like an ordinary IP camera, but its marquee feature has the potential to make it much more than that.
Check out the rest of our CES 2016 coverage here.