Stanford psychologists have spent years tracking the effects of speaking to and around infants and toddlers.
Kids who get consistent verbal interaction and kids who don't are divided by a so-called language gap between levels of comprehension and speaking.
Starling by Versame is a gadget that attempts to bridge that gap.
Basically, this little device clips to your child's clothes and listens for how many words are spoken around and to them.
The device distinguishes effectively between real human speech and the television or radio, plus Versame says Starling works with any language, and they've tested it with various Romantic, Germanic and Afro-Asiatic Languages.
The problem is for $200 I want this device to do more than just count the number of words I say to my son.
And track when I say them.
I want it to record the langauge that I'm using.
So that it can tell me if I need to widen my vocabulary.
I want it to measure my speech patterns so it can tell me if I need to increase my speaking speed or decrease it to help my son's language acquisition.
According to the developers at VersaMe, technology like this is on the way either via firmware updates or just new models of Starling.
Now, as a writer, I take developing my son's language acuity very seriously.
So, conceptually, I like that Starling is helping parents give their kids time and attention, something that's easy to let slide after a long day at work.
But as a millennial still finding stability in adult life, I don't necessarily have the resources to give him everything that might make a difference in his development.
So at the end of the day I can't recommend Starling to most parents unless $200 just isn't that big of an expense for them.
But I'm really hopeful to see where the tech goes in the future.