NightCare is a sleep trainer which we developed from scratch. We have gone through a process of understanding the root cause of new parents' bad sleep, researching, developing, and testing the prototype to determine, whether it is the right solution as well as developing the right business plan to optimize costs and sales. Finally turning the idea into a start-up company.
NightCare was developed through a course called From Idea to Check-Out. In this course, we were assigned to come up with an idea, of a product or service, and develop it as a business concept into a state, of which we were able to apply for funding. Unfortunately, we ended up stopping the project after being part of an incubator. On this page, I will showcase the project and its development.
While other baby monitors simply wake the parents when the baby is awake and crying, NightCare as a sleep trainer can predict when the baby is about to wake up and automatically plays sleep-inducing sound to help the baby fall into a deeper sleep before it wakes up and needs its parents. This is due to the IR-UWB sensor which through distance measures movement such as heartbeat and ventilation.
In order to develop NightCare, we had to know our target group and users to deliver the right solution for their needs. We have been interacting with more than 100 parents and babies getting a deeper understanding from qualitative and quantitative data. We used focus group interviews, 1-1 interviews, surveys, measurements and pretotype tests .
I have been part of the collaborative and iterative process of producing the final prototype of NightCare. I have drawn 3D models in SolidWorks, 3D printed the casing, done the surfacing, sanding and painting, as well as producing the silicone protection around the sleep trainer. Since we didn't have a nice photo studio to take the pictures I got the idea that we could use the showrooms at IKEA to give the right setting for our photos.
Pictures of the 3D printed mold used for molding the protective silicone sitting around the casing of the sleep trainer. Our business model was based on renting the sleep monitor as a service. This was a choice based upon being able to reuse and recycle the sleep trainer throughout the entirety of the products life, since the product would only be needed by the babies for a fraction of the product's life. This was also economically beneficial since the production cost of the sleep trainer was quite expensive due to the expensive IR-UWB sensor inside. The silicone protection was designed to minimize wear and tear enabling the product to be reused for longer.
Wireframes visualizing the design of the app meant to control the Sleep monitor. With the app, the user can get an analysis of the development and progress of the baby's sleeping behavior. The user will be able to see live measurements of data and set the alarm sound for when the baby needs nursing and help from a parent.
Early hand drawings of product concepts aimed at giving parents better sleep during the night. These concepts include wristbands, which will be worn by the parents and only wake up one of the parents according to their sleep cycles, to minimize the inconvenience of both getting woken up. A portable lamp will wake the parent lightly and can be carried to the baby as it needs to be fed. Lastly a blanket with conductive thread can sense the amount of movement the baby is making.
Unfortunately for our start-up company, half a year after we finished our course and we were part of an incubator at DTU called Ignite, products like our own started to be launched. We felt like we couldn't compete with these products as they were either cheaper, smarter, or more advanced than our own. None the less it proves our business case and the knowledge we got from the project was priceless
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