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Tweeting From The Womb

Unborn babies can now use Twitter

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[ Social Media]

Update: Corey Menscher, the creator of The Kickbee, left a comment below explaining why he developed The Honeycomb and answered some of your concerns.

No you didn’t read that wrong, unborn babies can now send Tweets from the womb. Creepy sounding isn’t it?

After you get past the initial "ick" factor of this, it’s not that disturbing… actually it’s quite interesting but, do you think Tweeting from the womb is taking social media too far? Tell us.

Corey Menscher, an NYU student, has developed a suite of devices entitled "The Honeycomb", the first of which is "The Kickbee".

The Kickbee allows physically separated spouses to connect with one another by transmitting fragments of sensory experiences of prototypical parenting activities from various stages of babyhood. In order to pass long the information, The Kickbee utilizes the popular microblogging service Twitter as a platform to record and distribute “kicks” to fathers as mobile phone text messages, thanks to its publicly available Application Programming Interface (API).

In layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo kicks… you get a Tweet about it.

Kickbee sample Tweet

On the technical side of things, a series of vibration sensors are attached to the belt longitudinally so their sensing areas can register the vibrations within the torso generated by a third-trimester baby. A microcontroller receives these signals, performs software filtering and processing, and transmits validated “kick” signals wirelessly to a custom Java application running on a personal computer.

Personally, back when my wife was pregnant (my son was born January 15, 2009) I would call my wife several times a day for general check-ins to see if the baby had been kicking much. I always enjoyed hearing about it, as it helped ease my worrisome mind, I guess.

I’m not saying that we would’ve used this product, but it would’ve been nice knowing when the baby was kicking.

As I mentioned above The Honeycomb also has two other stages, they are "The Burpbee" and "The Bathbee". Judging by the names you can probably tell what they’re about.

The BurpbeeThe Burpbee transmits the warmth of a baby’s body on one parent’s shoulder to the other over a distance. It consists of two objects: a “transmitter” in the form of a burp cloth, and a “receiver” in the form of a men’s button-down shirt. The heater warms slowly, and after 30 seconds has reached its peak temperature of about 110º fahrenheit

In layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo is burping… your shoulder area gets hot, as if you’re the one doing the burping.

The BathbeeThe Bathbee is an olfactory bathtime awareness device for a parent who is away from home. It consists of two objects: a “transmitter” in the form of a rubber ducky bath toy, and a “receiver” in the form of a rubber ducky-themed children’s lunchbox. When the bath toy is being actively played with in a bathtub, it transmits the smells of bathtime over a distance by filling the room with the scent of baby oil.

In layman’s terms: Whenever your kiddo is getting a bath… your room begins to smell of baby oil.

I can see the allure of The Kickbee… but the other two are kind of a stretch in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on The Kickbee and the other Honeycomb devices – Creepy or Innovative?

Tweeting From The Womb
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  • Guest

    Talk about big brother knowing what your doing.

    • http://superdealshop.com/ Bryan Quinn

      Forget Big Brother. With Big Momma is watching.

  • John

    I could see some use for the kick monitoring one, but the other two products aren’t something to write home about.

  • http://www.blogspot.com Lamont

    thiis is beyond creepy, technolgy is going too far.

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Hello Lamont,

      Technology has came very far in the last few decades… but don’t you think some of the luxuries we use on a daily basis now would’ve been considered creepy at one point?

      Sure The Kickbee might seem odd now… but this is just the first item of it’s kind… just wait, they’ll be more coming… and some will be even weirder and far creepier.


      Jeremy Muncy

  • http://portfolio.menscher.com Corey Menscher

    Hi, Kickbee creator here. Congrats on the baby…our son was born only three days later on January 18! The entire Honeycomb project was completed for my graduate school thesis. They were all intended to explore how technology can be used to connect parents who are physically separated with one another in the context of parenting. While each “bee” probably doesn’t appeal to the general population, if you talk to parents who are separated due to work travel, the military, or even long commutes you’ll find that the devices spark a simple yet visceral reaction. Even Jeremy notes that when his wife was pregnant he would call from work to check up on the baby’s activity.

    It’s important to note that one reason I chose to use Twitter with the Kickbee is that Twitter feeds are easily set to private. Additionally, any updates to the Kickbee’s feed would only be received by those who opt in to follow. It’s not about sharing the baby’s activity with EVERYONE…it’s simply an easy-to-use tool for sending small bursts of information like this. Additionally, followers can choose to receive an SMS message every time the baby kicks…the vibrating phone acts as a kind of analogue of the kick on the mother’s belly.

    I know it creeps some people out, but I love that it gets people talking and thinking about the role of technology in our lives.

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Hello Corey,

      Just wanted to say thanks for taking time to comment on my article about your device suite.

      Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.


      Jeremy Muncy

  • cormac

    Completely ridiculous and probably just as annoying as those people who have ‘Baby on Board’ stickers on their cars.

  • http://superdealshop.com Bryan Quinn

    Forget Big Brother. With Big Momma watching, this is a tweet too far. lol

    • http://www.Nurburg.eu Fate

      Not the most constructive comment here but most defiantly the funniest as a tag line respond..Wait almost like…like…TWEET! lol

      I think it’s great regardless of the opinions as it shows steps forwards in social interaction different from the normal.

  • Dylan Kotb

    Pretty ingenious idea. I never would’ve dreamed that technology, more specifically Twitter, could be used in such a helpful and meaningful way.

    This would be a great thing for people in the Military or people who spends month out of year on traveling business.

    Kudos to the creator and kudos to you… great article.

    Dylan

  • http://www.usedcisco.org cisco switch

    Wow! This one is indeed amazing. Is the item for sale? I will definitely buy one.

  • http://portfolio.menscher.com Corey Menscher

    I assume you’re talking about the Kickbee? There has been a lot of questions about that! Currently it’s not for sale, but due to the response I’m in the process of securing a patent and working on commercializing it. There’s work to do to make it easier to use, but I’ve been in contact with interested manufacturers/distributors.

  • http://www.hudsonhorizons.com Lauren

    Part of me feels like this is making a mockery of social media– milking or mooching off of the popularity of Twitter. But the report makes some legit points towards the end about how couples apart can use this sort of technology to get closer and keep in touch.

    During his SES NY opening keynote, Guy Kawasaki said something to the effect of: People don’t have the right to condemn my use of Twitter as a brand marketing tool, but in the same token, I don’t have the right to criticize people who use Twitter to tell the world about the long line at Starbucks.

    Social media cuts both ways, I guess. I primarily use it for business purposes, but I suppose everyone has the right to use it however they choose. Personally, I’d text msg the papa-to-be during a fetal fiesta rather than broadcast a tweet to everyone following me. A private text msg seems to convey the same intimate moment this Kickbee is trying to achieve. But… to each her own.

    -Lauren (@beebow)

  • Mak

    Twittering from the WOMB? That’s so 2008!! My child twitters from the future. Having not been born yet, I get tweets from the ether telling me just how much “fun” I’m going to have changing dirty diapers for years, spending nearly two decades as a slave to the kid, spending nearly a half million bucks sending the kid to college and dealing with boys when she turns into a teenager. ANY fetus can Twitter from the womb, but my kid is really talented.

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