Researchers Develop Wireless Sensors for Diapers That Send Alerts When They Need to Be Changed

If you use traditional diapers, you often have to open them to know if a baby needs to be changed. Some fancier versions change color when they come into contact with urine, providing a visual aid. But color-changing diapers may soon be obsolete.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a cheap, flexible sensor that can be placed on a child’s skin as s/he is diapered. It transmits a signal when it becomes wet. Currently it has a transmission range of only a few inches, but lead researchers Takayasu Sakurai and Takao Someya hope to expand that range.

Hey, maybe they could make a diaper that would send a tweet when a child needs to be changed. Or better: an Instagram!

-via Marginal Revolution | Photo: AFP

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If you don't know when your baby needs to be changed, you aren't paying enough attention to your baby.

I can see how such an aid would be useful for a daycare center, though.
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Yes, I don't see it as a major problem--at least with children. This might be helpful with elderly people in a nursing home.

Before I had kids, I worried that I wouldn't know when or how often to change diapers. But when I had babies, I found that I was keeping a constant awareness of my kids' diapers.
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Some babies skin are very sensitive to adhesives so I think it would be better not placed on the child's skin. The baby might peel it off, too and chew on it. Where on the skin would this be placed? In the area that will get wet or maybe - ew - even poopy? Because we all know baby poo travels... Would it be washable? I hope so! Why not just make an outside pocket for the device that could sense warmth from the urine?
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