For those hyper parents who must know exactly what their kindergartner is doing at every moment–including how she’s interacting with her peers, and how that will ultimately affect her chances of being accepted to an Ivy League school–here’s a nifty bit of technology. Researchers in Japan are testing out a device for kids to wear that gives parents the ability to see everything that passes before their kid’s eyes.
The technology builds on existing devices that can track the location of a child, but this gadget also monitors what the child is seeing, and even their pulse. If a child’s heart rate is faster than usual, it snaps a photo of their point-of-view and alerts parents via email…. A password-protected website allows parents to access an activity log and photos taken during the day.
Seung-Hee Lee of the University of Tsukuba, who led the team that built the device, says it could help parents find out about bullying or could be used to track down a missing child, but we can think of lots of other handy uses. Parents can find out if their kid’s eyes waver from the blackboard, and punish them accordingly. They can find out who their kid has a raging crush on by keeping a close watch on that heart rate.
The gadget is currently being tested on 10 children aged 2 to 6, and further trials are planned for slightly older school children. The device’s makers also hope to add a microphone and software that will store the child’s conversations. As for privacy concerns, Lee scoffs at them. She’s a mother, she told New Scientist, and she’d choose safety over privacy for her child any day.
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Shown pictures of other children and asked to pick birthday party attendees, six- to eight-year-olds did not care about gender or shirt color with any statistical significance. But they did care if a possible invitee had strabismus–a condition when a child’s eyes don’t line up while focusing, often resulting in crossed eyes or squinting. This heart-breaker brought to you by the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
The photographs included identical twins: children in four pairs of pictures looked the same, except for their digitally altered shirt colors and eyes. Given four chances to pick children with strabismus, 18 of 48 children did not select any child with the disorder. None picked the child with the eye disorder on all four opportunities.
The researchers say the study indicates that parents may want to consider corrective surgery before children with strabismus turn six–apparently the age when kids take a turn for the shallow.
Younger birthday boys and girls appear to care less about what their invitees eyes looked like: Of 31 children between the ages of four and six, the researchers found that 9 children picked kids with strabismus three or four times. Only one meanie didn’t pick any children with an eye disorder.
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Image: flickr / Spojeni
We’ve discussed how a mother’s diet may influence her baby’s sex. Now there’s research indicating that a baby’s diet may influence his or her future mental health and intelligence. Researchers for the Early Nutrition Programming Project (EARNEST) have found evidence that an infant’s diet can permanently affect the child’s future cognitive development, mental performance, and even susceptibility to mental illness.