Baby Monitor, move over!

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
Within homes, a very common method of communication for a person to call their caregivers is via baby monitor. There are many problems with this:
  • The name: Baby. Monitor. Believe it or not, many people are offended by the need to use a baby monitor for caregiver call issues. Either due to the name, or ... see below.
  • Baby monitors only allow for 1-way conversation. This means that the caregiver has constant access to the person's conversations and/or daily ... sounds. Embarrassing!
It's difficult, and expensive, to install a wired intercom - and even more expensive to figure out a method for a bed-bound person to access this system. I came across another option the other day that I want to share with you.
Motorola EM1000R Talkabout Two-Way Walkie-Talkie Radios (Pair)

Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio

To the naked eye, they appear to be walkie talkies. Who doesn't love playing with a walkie talkie? Or, I guess you could be more sophisticated and call them "Two-way radios", but that isn't nearly as fun.
But I digress. No matter what you call them, these buggers are equipped with the latest technology: iVOX. Why should we care?
iVOX allows for hands-free communication.
Hands-free, people. For example, in case you aren't getting it, someone in your home is bedbound. iVOX on the walkie talkie is activated. Each time the person speaks, the radio detects their voice and transmits when they speak into the internal microphone. There are headsets available to "enhance your iVOX experience".
  • Caregivers will still hear everything you say.
  • Positioning may be an issue.
  • There will be a slight delay when you start speaking to when the radio picks up.
  • There may be radio frequency issues with other homes/devices within your home and the walkie talkie.
  • The walkie talkies will need careful monitoring of their battery level to ensure safe, continuous use, and requires recharging when battery levels are low.
  • Seriously, walkie talkies ROCK!
  • This method allows for 2-way communication.
  • A portable option: Caregivers can carry the walkie talkie with them always ... and vice versa. When out of bed, the walkie talkie may do quite well positioned on a lanyard around the person's neck - allowing freedom of privacy with quick, hands-free access to caregivers if needed.
  • It's not always on, and may not pick up potentially embarrassing sounds.
So I'll be honest, I haven't tried out iVOX myself. But, if I needed to choose between a baby monitor and these puppies? I think I might give the iVOX enabled walkie talkies a whirl. Read the reviews on Amazon, choose for yourself.
And please, if you've tried it - let us know what you think!
Till later,


Baby Monitors said...

Performance differences. More money gets you more extras, not necessarily greater safety and security for your child.
baby monitor reviews

LinhTramN said...

Thanks,,, for the wonderful review! I was really into this set as soon as I saw the helicopter on the box, and after reading your review I know it's a must-buy for me. Perhaps I'll let my daughter play with it too ;)