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The Road to Remmo: The making of the world’s first wireless baby monitor

Baby Monitor

Like so many of the world’s great ideas, RemmoTM came about as a result of female astuteness. Rachna Arora, a working mother of two, was unimpressed with the limitations of her baby monitor. A busy dentist with her own practice, she used the monitor via her smartphone to keep tabs on her kids while they were at home with dad and she was at work.

Following a particularly fretful episode wherein Rachna was unable to gauge whether her post-vaccinated baby boy was just sleeping soundly or if his motionless state meant something more serious, she turned to Karan, her husband, for a solution. Why not create a baby monitor that provided all the sensory information about a baby’s sleeping state that a parent needed for peace of mind?  A baby monitor with audio and video, which also, vitally, tracked the infant’s breathing, but without any of the awkward wearable or mattress clipping sensors that some monitors now use to, somewhat unsuccessfully, accomplish this.

Could creating this type of monitor be that simple?

Well, simple – no.  However, if your husband is a successful entrepreneur with contacts in related tech and medical fields it certainly could be possible!

And so, the road to Remmo began.

Karan contacted me and, as my wife and I had just had our second child and were feeling similar frustrations with our baby monitor, the idea seemed a ‘no-brainer’.

I had worked in remote sensing technologies and after I completed my MBA at the University of Florida – which is where I met Karan – I moved into banking.  The experiences of both these fields gave me the skills and the confidence to move forward with Rachna’s fantastic idea.

We decided on the product name ‘Remmo’, which was an abbreviated form of the phrase ‘remote monitoring’.   This, we felt, tied in neatly with the very reason this venture had come into being – the fact that Rachna couldn’t remotely monitor her sleeping baby effectively: Rachna might have been able to see and hear her son in his crib, but she had no way of knowing if he was actually sound asleep or having trouble and just not making a sound.

Karan and I returned to our old stomping ground, the University of Florida, where we found and began to work with the brilliant Dr. Jenshan Lin in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Lin is a leader in the study of using radio waves to track human respiration and breathing.

Although Dr. Lin and his team at the University of Florida had been developing the technology for over a decade, it had only ever been tested in a laboratory setting and never within a more user-friendly environment.  Much work still remained to turn Dr. Lin’s technology into a viable commercial product.

Karan and I reached out to bring together a diversified team. This included my childhood friend Vikram Sreeram, who is the joint managing director of a private hospital in Bangalore, India andlegal counsel Brent Walters who was my college classmate and is now based in Taiwan.

After successful matching investment from the State of Florida, and much coordination between Dr. Lin’s team at the University of Florida and our team in India, Remmo was improved to a level that puts it within the range of hospital grade medical devices used to monitor infant breathing.  Even though Remmo is not, and was never intended to be, a medical device, but our goal was to create a product that is up to the highest standards for these types of monitors. Only then could we satisfy other parents and, of course, us as well– because the entire team hopes to use this product one day as our own families grow. So we are not just developing the Remmo to sell, but to use ourselves, fulfilling the initial push by Rachna to create a better baby monitor.

So, it’s been three years now since Rachna first realized a new path in baby monitors needed to be forged. As our own child have grown and new ones have joined our family, our dreams and determination have never dampened.  The road we took to create a baby monitor using cutting-edge technology to correctly – and safely – detect a baby’s breathing movement while he or she sleeps, has been a long one and not without its rocky parts.  However, we’ve completed the prototype and it has undergone a series of successful tests.

Our next stage is to start producing our very first Remmo baby monitors for home use.  To do this we’ll be launching a campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in the coming months.  If all goes well and we reach our target funding, we hope to deliver the first models by the end of 2015.

This, then, is our next turn on the road to Remmo.  This is when we see all the hard work and hopes of the last few years finally realized.  However, it doesn’t stop here.  We will continue testing our unique technology so that the definitive Remmo model will be unsurpassable on the market. You see, when you put all of your heart and hopes into creating something that you truly believe will benefit others there is never a stop sign. We want to make the best product to give parents out there that much-needed peace of mind every time they put their baby down to sleep.  That’s what Rachna envisioned when she first came up against her own fears and frustrations over three years ago and, really, that’s what the road to Remmo has always been about.

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About Vik Ramprakash

Vik Ramprakash, SMP’s CEO, is responsible for the company’s vision and manages product development. An experienced business system consultant with technology expertise, he has implemented technological solutions in the geospatial field and the financial industry. Mr. Ramprakash earned an M.S. in Civil Engineering at Ohio State University, where he researched remote sensing technologies. He also acquired an M.B.A. from the University of Florida.

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