Building better dads

This Chinese dad wants to get you pregnant

There are so many products on the market to cater for worried parents.

Most of them claim to solve real world problems, but the time it takes for most things to go from concept to mass market rollout is so enormous that often the solution can be very watered down by the time it reaches our living rooms.

Not only that, but often it's the marketing team's job to make us worry about something we didn't even know about before in order to shift more units of something kinda useless (toddler kneepads - I'm looking at you).

Of course there is a huge amount of value in the testing processes these products go through along the way (particularly when it comes to the safety of children) but let's be honest, not everything needs a sign like this

This should not be a thing.

This should not be a thing.

One way that super innovative new products are starting to find an audience is through crowd funding.

As someone who recently raised over $20,000 via Kickstarter, I can confidently say there are lots of amazing benefits to crowd funding, but in my opinion some of the most important benefits are less tangible than cash or getting written about on Tech Crunch.

1) Testing out your idea in the real world

Too many people have 'great ideas'. However not only do most of them never see the light of day,  but those that do rarely get seen by the people who are most likely to want them.

2) Developing a community around your concept

This one is incredibly powerful, and it's the key to taking your idea through the 3 stages of Insane Idea > Successful Campaign > World Domination

It's with all this in mind that I recently connected with a young Chinese dad named Yunlong Tian.

Yunlong is the inventor of the iLece, a tiny piece of smart hardware which monitors Basal body temperature and then sends that information directly to a simple app on your phone.

According to his crowd funding campaign, this device has two enormous benefits for parents:

1) To better predict ovulation by using the same technology developed to monitor child temperature. 

dads.co_ilece1

and (for those who are already lucky enough to have children)

2) For parents with a sick little baby (and let's be honest - that's all of us at some point!) iLece will automatically alert you via the app if your baby's temperature goes outside the normal range.

dads.co_ilece2

So there's two massive claims from an unknown developer dad from China that I had to learn more about... Firstly to find out if any of it was true, and also to high five another digital dad using ingenious technology to create cheap and accessible solutions for modern parents!


INTERVIEW WITH THE INVENTOR

Tell us a little bit about your family and how you became a dad

可以跟我们说一下你的家庭,还有怎么样成为一位父亲吗? 我们是一个三口之家,我在上班,老婆在家照顾小孩,有时候来公司忙我。跟宝宝是不期而遇。可能当时还没有完全做好当爸爸的准备,不过现在我想我做的还不赖。

We are a family of three. I am the only person working at the moment. My wife is a full time housewife and she takes care of the child and the housework. Sometimes when my things get a little out of control, my wife will come help out.

At first, I wasn’t expecting the arrival of our child. I thought I did not have the attributes needed to become a father. However, looking at how I am doing now, I think I am doing an okay job!

Creator of the iLece and his family

Creator of the iLece and his family

What is it like being a dad in China right now?  

在中国,父亲是怎样的一种角色呢? 承担养家的任务,照顾家人的安全,健康还有教育孩子。

Being a father in China means that you are taking on the responsibilities to take care of the whole family, to ensure your family is safe and healthy and to provide the best learning and living environment for the next generation.

How do you think being a father in China differs to anywhere else in the world?

你觉得中国的父亲跟其他国家的父亲有什么不同的地方吗? 我觉得全世界的父亲应该都差不多,在中国,父亲除了照顾孩子,还要照顾自己的父母。 

I think fathers across the world have similar roles and responsibilities. In China, besides providing the best for your children, you also need to take care of your parents.

4、Is it acceptable to stay home and spend time with your children instead of working?

你能接受留在家中照顾小孩而不工作吗? 不能,我还有很多事情要去做,现在我老婆在家中照顾小孩。

Absolutely no. My wife is currently taking care of my child and I feel that I need to share the work with her. The way I see as sharing her work is to give them a stress-free life. That is why I need to work hard in what I am currently doing.

What do you most enjoy about being a dad? 

作为父亲,你最享受什么,或哪一部分呢? 看宝宝开心,一天一天成长变聪明。

As a father, to see your child grow up happily and healthily is most enjoyable.  

What is the hardest part of being a father for you?

作为父亲,你觉得最困难的是什么呢? 怎么去教育一个超级调皮捣蛋的宝宝,如何不用打骂树立一个爸爸的威信。宝宝太调皮了,幼儿园学期满以后,每个小朋友都有一个奖状,比如最优秀宝贝奖,最大进步宝贝奖等等,开始宝宝没有任何奖状,过了几天最后可能老师后悔了,还是给他发了一张奖状--活力宝贝奖。   

I find that the most difficult part of being a father is finding the correct way to educate your child and to deliver the correct message. I preferred not to be an authoritative father. I don't want to yell at my kids or be that kind of dad. I much prefer to reason things out with my child when I can.

What are you most afraid of as a dad?

作为父亲,你最害怕什么呢? 最害怕宝宝生病。

When my child gets sick, it frightens me a lot.  

What are you most excited about?

作为父亲,有什么事情会让你兴奋呢? 有一次回老家,宝宝在火车上把整篇《弟子规》背给了一个邻座的老太太。想象三岁的宝宝是怎么做到的。  

There was an incidence where my three-year old child was able to recite a rather complicated piece of writing to the elderly women sitting next to us. I was really amazed by his ability and intelligence.

How did you come up with the idea for iLece?

从哪里得到这个iLece计划的构思呢? 我们是一个三口之家,每到宝宝感冒的晚上,一般都是我“值夜班”一遍遍起来看宝宝有没有发烧。我之前也做过很多的智能硬件和传感器应用的产品,包括智能电子称,测温仪,智能运动跟踪器。很容易就冒出了做一款智能的体温测量产品的想法。  

When my baby gets sick, my wife and I need to take turns monitoring the baby’s temperature. I am usually the one taking on the night shifts. I tried making gadgets such as detectors and thermometers trying to better monitor my baby’s temperatures.

With years of research and experiment, that is how I came up with the idea of iLece.   

Why did you call it that? What does Lece mean to you?

为什么你会称它为iLece呢?iLece是什么意思呢?有特别意义吗? 汉语拼音“乐测”的全拼加字母"i"。乐测,让测量变得有乐趣。我觉得健康快乐是高质量生活的基础,也是我们希望带给用户的服务。 乐测是我揣心里了很久的一个名字,因为我的专业就是做一些测量的设备,包括域名ilece.com。至少揣了三四年。我想有一天我会创业,就会用这个名字。

Lece came from the chinese pinyin of the actual Chinese characters. Le means happiness and Ce means monitoring. Together the meaning of Lece is to bring happiness for parents who need to monitor their child’s temperature. I came up with this name 3 to 4 years ago and since then I was determined to use that name if I ever started my own business.

What does your partner think about the project?

你还有跟你的合作伙伴工作吗?他们觉得你的构思怎么样? 有,他们觉得这是一个很实用很棒的想法。

She thinks this is a brilliant idea as some of them share the pain of getting up at night checking their children’s temperature.

Who do you think will benefit the most from this device?

你觉得你的产品能为什么人带来好处和方便呢? 最大的跟传统体温计不同的特点是可以贴在身上实现连续的温度测量,温度达到阈值可以报警提醒。这样省去了父母特别是夜里频繁测量体温的精神负担,还可以不打扰孩子休息。  

The benefit of this device is to allow parents to monitor their children’s temperature without disturbing the child. Parents no longer need to monitor their child’s temperature as any deviations from the normal range will alert the parents through their smartphone.

Screen grabs from the iLece app

Screen grabs from the iLece app

Are you worried about making any big marketing promises about increasing fertility rates with the iLece?

iLece称能够提高受孕率,你对这个承诺有担心的地方吗? 我担心她会不能坚持天天测量,天天粘贴体温贴,不能坚持下去,造成数据偏差。

I am not worried as I am confident in the efficiency of my product. What comes to my concern is whether or not the person using it continues measuring everyday. Skipping measurements will lead to inaccuracy of the calculation of the fertility rate.

What kind of testing did you do before launch?

在推出iLece之前需要做什么类型的试验呢? 主要是可靠性实验。 
Mainly reliable tests.  (We kinda struggled with the translation on this answer - apologies to those as interested as we were)

What is your ambition for this project?  

你对这个计划的期望是什么呢? 我们渴望世界各地都知道iLece的体温贴,渴望来自世界各地的支持。

I am hoping that more people around the world can learn about and try iLece. I am sure parents around the world will find it useful.

Where would you love to see this device in 5 years?

这个项目在未来五年的计划和方向是怎么样? 我们会用标准的协议,开放硬件,支持healthbook,帮助那些软件上有想法的人做出更神奇的应用.我们会继续开发其他健康硬件产品,这个项目将成为生命体征数据采集系统的一个组成部分。

I am planning to take this project to the next level by switching the focus from the technology to the hardware development. My team and I will continue to work towards the development of other health products. I am also in support of the health book program, in which I welcome people who have ideas relating to health improvements.