December 21, 2017 | Written by: Caroline B Poser
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To some, the cloud might seem like an ethereal thing. Maybe they get the idea of cloud backup or cloud-based email, but the rest of it? Lots of people are too busy to keep up with innovations and sometimes assume it’s only for the most tech-savvy out there.
That’s not the case, though. Here are a few IBM Cloud applications that are innovative and applicable for everyday use, especially for parents of young children.
Sleep easier with a baby-movement monitor built on Watson IoT
Sleeping like a baby actually means waking up several times during the night. Sleep-deprived nights are a rite of passage for most new parents.
Their baby might go back to sleep on his or her own, but if it’s a young infant who is hungry or needs a diaper change, it’s not likely. By the time weary parents hear their baby crying, the baby is already agitated. Typical baby monitors require parents to listen or watch for updates, and that’s not something that can be done while getting a good night’s sleep.
This dilemma is what sparked an idea in a parent who knows the value of bringing his baby a bottle immediately.
When an employee of IBM Business Partner, Capgemini, attended an IBM Cloud workshop, he became fascinated by how quick and easy it was to develop an app that would gather sensor data from a phone, produce websites with graphs to display it and tweet about it.
He had already considered how nice it would be to have some kind of alert for when his new baby started to wake rather than when he was already crying; the workshop made it clear that it was possible.
He created an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor device from a cell phone, hooked it up to the Watson IoT Platform for IBM Cloud, secured it to the baby’s bed and defined thresholds for movement to be detected by the sensors.
If the device detects movement greater than the threshold (which typically means the baby is awake), a parent gets an alert right away. That’s much sooner than the typical monitor alerts which comes when the baby is already crying, which by then is perhaps too late. Parents can be alerted by an email message sent to a VIP list, call, text or tweet. It’s even possible to update your Facebook status with the alert.
Read the full story.
Cloud-based managed firewall protects children using IBM Analytics
Many parents wouldn’t dream of letting their young children use an internet-connected device without some type of filter. It’s important to protect young web searchers from arriving at undesirable websites. An innocent enough search term could have a double meaning, leading impressionable minds to things better left unseen.
One approach for parents is to install software that restricts content on devices or a home router. Typically, if they’re not using a general rating scheme by age, parents need to know the sites they want to block ahead of time and set up their own block lists. This is time consuming, and chances are they’re going to miss something.
ChildRouter from Cloud-Nanny offers an automated and intelligent way to filter web content with a firewall-as-a-service (FaaS) solution. Parents choose which categories of sites they will allow their kids to see, and Cloud-Nanny handles almost everything else. The solution decides whether to allow or block web requests without noticeable effect on the user’s browsing experience. Using IBM dashDB, the processing check makes a request in Cloud-Nanny’s database and returns a decision is less than 40 microseconds.
ChildRouter uses machine learning algorithms running in IBM Analytics for Apache Spark together with AlchemyAPI to classify and categorize content in nearly real time. If the system is unsure about a site, it checks with the parents. Using that input, the model learns and gets better at classifying that type of site in the future.
WatchOver’s app and GPS tracker watch help ensure child safety
Many parents use apps to keep tabs on their children starting the day those children get their first smartphones.
Working parents can see that their children got on the bus in the morning and check on them after school, without needing to call or text. Parents of new drivers can have peace of mind knowing their children arrived safely where they said they would go.
But what about younger children who don’t have a smartphone?
That’s where WatchOver comes in. It’s a GPS tracker in a watch that enables parents to locate children through a smartphone app. For example, if a child were to get lost at a zoo or amusement park, a parent would be able to find out quickly where that child is.
What sets WatchOver apart is its safety insight. It incorporates current, local news so parents know what is going on in the vicinity of their children.
Software Productivity Strategists (SPS) developed WatchOver using the IBM Cloud, incorporating the Watson Alchemy Data News API. The back end is a node.js app hosted on the IBM Cloud, using the IBM Cloud IoT Foundation and the Geo-Spatial Analytics service.
Furthermore, the GPS tracker watch has both call receiving and dialing capabilities, as well as an SOS feature. In case of emergency, when the child presses the SOS button, it launches a call and message to three primary numbers registered as emergency contacts.
Learn more about IBM Cloud.