One of the new baby products from CES 2017 I was excited to try for myself was a wearable thermometer called TempTraq. I purchased one from Amazon for $20 and figured it would be a while until I could give it a try. But as luck would have it (good or bad I’m not sure) my son got sick about two weeks after I purchased the thermometer.
Was I slightly excited when I felt my kid’s head and it was on fire? Yes. Yes I was.
So I grabbed the TempTraq box and got started. The setup was very simple. The thermometer itself is basically a thick sticker that peeled off easily and went under my son’s arm per the diagram included in the instructions. My son initially complained that the thermometer was uncomfortable but after a few minutes he forgot it was even there.
Activating the wearable was a simple click of a button on the thermometer. Then I paired it to my phone through Bluetooth. My phone recognized it quickly and after downloading the app I was prompted to complete some initial setup like putting in my son’s name and selecting high temperatures that I would like to be alerted to if my son reached them.
I also noticed a 24 hour countdown located in the upper part of the screen that showed how much time was left in the life of the sensor. I wonder if the 24 hour limit is because the sticker won’t hold up longer than a day? Or perhaps this is a way to get more units purchased? Can’t be sure. *UPDATE* A rep from TempTraq reached out to me and shared that the 24 hour limit is an FDA requirement due to the mild adhesive used on the back of the thermometer. TempTraq is working on a 48 hour version that they hope to release soon.
We were only a few minutes in to wearing the device when I checked in on my app to see that the temp reading was at 92 degrees fahrenheit. Obviously that wasn’t right and after seeing my son in a standing position I could tell I did not position the sensor properly under his arm. I had to take it off and rotate it around and place it under his left arm using the second method recommended in the instructions. That did the trick and I started to see the proper readings.
A few hours in I started getting pinged through the app about every 20 minutes that I was out of range from the sensor. That feature sounds good in theory except I was only a few feet away from my child. So imagine if you had a kid taking a nap on the other side of the house. I’m not confident the sensor and the phone would stay connected very well. That means more annoying alerts but more importantly gaps in data collection.
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The tech nerd in me also loved that I could go in to the app and see his temp data throughout the day. You could see the ups and downs and also make notes on when you gave him medicine. I could also see using this data to share info with your doctor if you end up making a visit.
And since this was a test I decided to double check the reading form the TempTraq against that of the thermometer I typically use. There were some discrepancies between the two even though both were placed under the arm. I would like to think the TempTraq would be more accurate, but honestly it made me second guess the readings I was receiving from the sensor.
Would I purchase again?
So here’s the bottom line for me. I love the idea of having a wearable thermometer to track my kid’s temp. It’s easier for me and I don’t have to disturb him every few hours to take his temp. And using this at night would be key as you wouldn’t have to worry about medicine wearing off and temps spiking because you know you will get alerted.
However, I think there’s more work to be done before this wearable product will become mainstream. For one, the price point may be tough for most to get on board with. Flu season could get costly fast if you have multiple kids getting sick as TempTraq currently sells for $20 PER USE (although I recently saw it on sale for $16). And each use is only 24 hours, so you could end up going through two or three of these at a hit if it’s a long lasting bug.
Second, there are connectivity issues with the Bluetooth that need to be refined. My phone is brand new, so I can’t blame it for not staying connected. All I know is if I get woke up every 20 minutes in the middle of the night for the app to tell me I’m out of range there’s no way in hell I’m buying another one.
So does TempTraq offer peace of mind? Absolutely. But really it’s offering convenience. My regular thermometer also offers me peace of mind. I just have to work a little harder to get it. And it doesn’t cost me $20* (currently $16 on Amazon) every 24 hours to use it.
What do you think? Is TempTraq something you would try with your kids?