Has Huggies Taken Technology Too Far?

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Technology continues to evolve each day, but unlike children, we do not document this growth with pencil marks on our doorframe. We measure technology's lifecycle through tweets, apps, and upgrades. But, just as teenagers test their boundaries, technology frequently pushes the envelope when it comes to innovation and creativity. In Huggies' case, the latest gimmick truly hits below the belt.

Technology continues to evolve each day, but unlike children, we do not document this growth with pencil marks on our doorframe. We measure technology's lifecycle through tweets, apps, and upgrades. But, just as teenagers test their boundaries, technology frequently pushes the envelope when it comes to innovation and creativity. In Huggies' case, the latest gimmick truly hits below the belt.Recently, the diaper company released a new mobile tool for parents that supposedly makes the diaper changing experience easier. Known as TweetPee, this iPhone app links with an owl-shaped humidity sensor that clips onto the baby's diaper. The sensor then alerts parents via Twitter at the first sign of moisture so the child does not have to remain wet for long. Parents will also find that TweetPee helps them monitor their diaper supply and order more when they begin to run low.

Though the app is currently available only to Huggies' Brazilian test market, the concept has been raising eyebrows everywhere, as parents have been changing diapers for centuries without the help of Twitter. While technology offers opportunities to ease burdens and simplify life, TweetPee appears to be borderline insulting to parents and consumers in general:

  • The app's existence ambiguously implies that today's parents pay more attention to Twitter than their child... though practically everyone will attest to the fact that a baby's cry will alert them of wetness much quicker than any tweet could. Our society may be excessively connected, but when it comes to bringing another human being into this world, most only break out their mobile device when the need to share another photo of their child on Facebook strikes. (OK, perhaps I see plenty of mothers pushing strollers with one hand and texting with the other, but that doesn't mean they should be!)
  • Tracking diaper usage and the remaining supply implies that parents are not very vigilant when it comes to satisfying their baby's needs... when in fact, new parents are typically over prepared. New parents will, more than likely, make sure they are well stocked in advance of the child's birth. And, if for some reason the supply does run low, in most instances, there are two parents holding down the fort, meaning one will always be ready to hop on over to Costco and buy another 3-month supply at the turn of a key.
  • Huggies really only wants to help themselves... because parents past, present, and future will probably agree that they do not need a potentially accurate owl to tell them when they may or may not need to change their child's diaper. The sensor triggers an alert that encourages consumers to use another diaper, dwindling the supply that the app also happens to be tracking, thus triggering the need to order more Huggies. I may not have any children of my own, but I can just imagine all the money being flushed down the proverbial toilet as parents change an excessive amount of diapers each day.

Parents of the world, what do you think about this new tool? Would you be willing to use TweetPee if it appears stateside, or are you opposed to monitoring your baby's bodily functions via Twitter?

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION