Owlet Smart Sock



Being a parent is hard. There isn’t a manual or any consensus on how it should be done. Bringing home your first newborn can be terrifying, especially if any complications have arisen. Owlet came to Astro Studios with a prototype and a goal: to bring peace of mind to new parents. The Owlet device uses pulse oximetry to measure blood oxygenation, and to detect if anything is amiss with the little one.  

The original Owlet Prototype, designed and executed by the internal Owlet team.

The original Owlet Prototype, designed and executed by the internal Owlet team.

To understand the needs and pain points of new parents, we held a workshop with 4 first-time parents. We discussed the challenges, frustrations and rewards of becoming a parent. One thing that became readily apparent was that no two families are alike, and parenting methodologies vary widely from couple to couple.  

Concept Development

Ideation led to 4 possible directions: an undersock, a sock, a bootie, and a strap that wraps around the foot. All four directions were refined and tested on infants over several nights.  Of all of the concept categories, the smart sock appealed most to parents and resulted in the most accurate readings.  Parents preferred the sock because it was familiar, simple, and approachable, and because it found the best balance between apparel and tech.    

The Owlet Smart Sock



The Owlet smart sock is constructed of Daerim Knit, a structural yet soft neoprene. Bemis Thermal Tape is used to preserve the structure of the sock yet provide a finished look. The sensor module, which contains a relatively simple stackup of a PCB, battery, and two sets of diodes, is contained in a molded rubber. 

Beta units were shipped in May of 2015 and were well received by users. The design work done for Owlet led to a successful $7M Series A funding round in August of 2015.