Honey, it’s our fetus on the phone again!

ritmo 1I am just so entertained by this phenomenally wacky hardware add-on to our handy Apple iPhones: the Ritmo Advanced Pregnancy Sound System, which, according to its makers, “was created to provide a convenient, comfortable and safe way for families to share the sensory and emotional experience of bonding through sound and music with their developing baby.”
Marketing talk, for sure, but the basic concept is just hilarious: it’s a sort of two piece belt that mama wears around her belly that plugs in to an iPhone or other audio device. As the headline says: Talk to your baby in the womb using an iPhone. Wow!
On the left I have an actual product picture from the Ritmo site, and I’ve also embedded a video. Every time I look at the photo on the right, I think “darn that little monkey, calling me again!”
Now, in reality, I realize that the fetus can’t actually initiate calls (not yet, that might be v2 of the Ritmo product for all we know), but jeez, isn’t this just a little bit over the top?


Keep reading their material and here’s what you find out: “Ritmo™ is sound technology for young children. It is the most advanced and complete system delivering high quality sound to the youngest listeners. Ritmo™ is the only surround sound system capable of delivering all types of audio, anything recorded on an MP3 player, to you and your baby, both in-utero as well as after birth. From lullabies to pop songs, from symphonies to storytelling – Ritmo™ Pregnancy enables mothers to share sensory and emotional experiences with their babies.”
So the more you dig into it, the more that there’s no real iPhone connection after all, it’s just a fancy speaker system and if you, presumably, put the iPhone on ‘speaker phone’ then the audio comes out of the audio jack and the Ritmo. “Honey, this is what being on hold with AT&T sounds like…”.
Still, you have to watch the video:

Now is it just me, or is there something kinda goofy about a speaker system designed to wrap around a developing fetus so you can “play the classics to them”? I just get a sense of it being more and more about parental angst, about “what if we didn’t give Johnny every possible opportunity to get ahead in life even before he was born?”
As a parent of three, I’ll say that taking a deep breath and enjoying your child is really such an easier – and cheaper: the Ritmo costs $129 – approach to helping them grow up and become happy and healthy adults.
Then again, once they do perfect the bidirectional aspect of the product, it might be interesting for your fetus to call you on the phone and let you know that the spicy burrito you just ate? Yeah, not so good.

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