If you think Big Brother is always watching, wait until you get a load of this. A new motion-sensing gadget called Mother takes the concept of a personal fitness tracker (or smart pedometer) and expands it to measure various aspects of your family.
Mother, which is on display this week at the International CES, looks like an untainted Russian stacking doll and comes with four trackers, or "cookies." A cookie can act as a fitness tracker if you tuck one into your pocket, or you can set it to tell you about other family matters, such as whether your teenager came home by curfew.
At launch, Mother's price is set at $222 (£135), which includes four cookies that come with 15 possible uses, which the user can set from a dashboard. Mother is already on sale in France, but is available for pre-order in the UK, and will ship sometime in the spring.
The Mother acts as a kind of base for the cookies, although the cookies can communicate with one another, too. You choose an action for one or more of the cookies, such as alerting a parent via email when a child carrying the cookie arrives home and is within range of the Mother. Another use is to drop a cookie into a large bottle of water and let it measure how much you drink in a day and perhaps even call your phone to remind you to hydrate again if it's been a while since your last gulp.
The possibilities for tracking are vast, and more will certainly come if developers make use of Mother's open API.
What's more broadly interesting about Sen.se's new product is how it avoids the problem of "device fatigue," as the company's CEO Rafi Haladjian puts it. In other words, an expensive tech toy whose novelty wears off after a few days or weeks. Mother and its cookies were designed to change and be repurposed at any time. You can add up to 24 cookies, though only four are included with the initial purchase. Each cookie has an internal button cell battery that lasts up to 15 months, so you don't have to recharge the cookies frequently either.