Tracking technology is everywhere. It lives in activity bands, security devices, air conditioners—even nutrition-tracking smart cups. And that’s the problem. “We have too many needs to buy dedicated devices for everything,” says Rafi Haladjian, founder of Sen.se, so he created a single device that can make dumb items smart. He called it Mother, and it’s designed to care about you as much as your real one. To use it, people place sensors—called cookies—onto anything from a coffee pot (to monitor caffeine intake) to a child’s toothbrush (to keep tabs on dental hygiene). Cookies use accelerometers to track motion, thermometers for temperature, and a Wi-Fi connection to determine proximity. The cookies then send the data back to the central unit, which compiles the information and feeds it into a newspaper app. Daily habits and environmental indicators are displayed like stories on a front page, making it easier to live a healthier, more informed life. And that’s something every mother can agree on.
This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The Most User-Friendly Monitoring System.”