New to the world of eTextiles is the PreVue pregnancy screen, an abdomen attachment that lets expecting parents see their child's growth and development as the natal process progresses.
The PreVue is the brainchild of Melody Shiue and has recently won an Australian Design Award - no surprise, given the level of innovation its got going on. Shiue's idea centers around the concept of pre-birth bonding using "fetal visualization" (a great term, we've got to admit) and the fact that this bonding is an essential part of post-birth health of both the mother and child. With post-partum depression a real issue for mothers, the PreVue aims to give both genders of parents the chance to get to know their baby before it ever comes along.
Designed to look like a large belt, the PreVue cinches in the back and fits over the abdomen. With the press of a button, a special ultrasonic layer next to the skin images the baby and then places this image onto a stretchable electronic textile that can grow as the mother does. At every stage of the baby's growth, the parents can see its reaction to stimuli, see it kick, spin, smile and evolve in front of their eyes.
PreVue ultrasound imager: highly technological.
As you can see from the specs, there's a fair bit that is going to go into the PreVue, our favorite part being the "capacitve micro-machined ultrasonic transducer array". If that isn't some future-awesomeness right there, we're not sure what is.
Conceptually, this thing is great. New parents love to see the ultrasound images of their child and will often hold on to the printed picture for years if not the rest of their lives, and a product that gives easy, daily access to a child's development with the push of a button is certainly something that will generate interest. Of course, practical application might tell another story. The pictures of the concept PreVue look great, but will the actual device deliver such clarity? Not only that, but will issues arise concerning just how much use the PreVue should have, both for the health of the child and the mother? In addition, eTextiles run the problem of e-hijacking and hacking issues, representing potential privacy issues.
This newly birthed concept has a great underlying appeal and we hope that it gets to see the light of day, even if the delivery is somewhat of a struggle.