A creepy new project aims to give babies the ability to upload “selfies” straight to Facebook from the comfort of their own cribs, solving the age-old dilemma facing many parents around the world.
One of the project designs is an infant crib mobile outfitted with a camera. Instead of cartoon zoo animals hanging from strings, the “New Born Fame” device features the logos of social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter.
Snapped photos get automatically uploaded to Facebook whenever a young one touches or squeezes the icons, eliminating the need for parents to manually inundate news feeds with those same photos.
Developers also created a soft “selfie ball” tots can haul around with them, as well as “motion-tracking shoes that register and upload physical activity; and an interactive pacifier that will upload the location of the baby,” according to Yahoo! Tech.
The experiment was dreamt up by Dutch developer Laura Cornet, who says she was trying to start a conversation about whether parents constantly posting photos of their newborns on Facebook is appropriate.
“This generation of newborns is the first to be brought up by parents who grew up with facebook,” Cornet says on her site. “This results in the fact that nearly half of the newly born babies is [sic] visible online within the first day after birth.”
“What is considered to be okay, and when does it go too far? And, even more important: who is in charge of that decision?”
The idea of introducing infants to social media at such an early age was met with intense skepticism, even though “A study by Microsoft Research found that 62% of mothers of kids under the age of three use Facebook,” and “More than 96% of these ‘Facebook moms’ said they posted photos of their child to social media,” CNN reports.
The outrage pleased Cornet, whose intent all along was to provoke a debate.
“Some people were scared of it, thinking it’s kind of a Big Brother watching their baby,” Cornet told CNN.
Unsurprisingly, others believed the baby spy devices were actual products and even inquired about purchasing them.
Cornet says she’s now working to develop the real thing, but instead of pics being uploaded to Facebook, photos will go to parents’ cell phones as a sort of enhancement to baby monitors.
The prevalence of Facebook news feeds being overrun by baby photos led other developers to invent apps such as Unbaby.me, a web browser extension that actively works to eliminate baby pics from Facebook feeds.
“Unbaby.me works by scanning your Newsfeed for keywords (too precious, just like mom!), and simply replaces the associated content with images [such as cat photos, for instance] from a user-defined RSS feed,” the app’s website explains.
Unbaby.me’s success is a testament to the fact that many people are uncomfortable seeing infants forcefully shoved into today’s social media-oriented society, and do not wish to take part in the exploitation of innocent children.