TempTraq, a Blue Spark Technologies company, has released the TempTraq Wearable Bluetooth Thermometer ($25), also known simply as TempTraq. A sticky patch designed to constantly monitor a child’s temperature, TempTraq is worn directly on the skin, with the tip of the patch placed under a child’s armpit. It uses Bluetooth to send live readings to a free app when a linked iOS device is within 40 feet. The app also allows users to track multiple children with multiple patches, and take notes, among other features. The patch is designed for one-time use, which makes the $25 price tag hard to swallow.
Once you press the button to start the TempTraq patch, the clock is ticking — it lasts one time, for 24 hours. Even if you remove the patch, you’ll notice the app continue counting down from 24 hours. The 4” x 2” patch is easy enough to place, and it shouldn’t upset a child too much. We stuck it on a 3-year-old who wasn’t too bothered by it, so a smaller child should be OK with it (though TempTraq notes a doctor should be consulted when using the patch on a child under 2). It’s clear TempTraq is designed to be used when a child has a particularly troublesome fever, and it’s actually a great idea. It can give parents peace of mind knowing everyone in the house can get some sleep when a child has a fever, and it should conceivably cut down on constant temperature checks — the app is designed to send an alert when the temperature exceeds a number that can be set by parents within a range (the default is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). A graph and history within the app shows fluctuations in temperature.
However, TempTraq’s implementation leaves a lot to be desired. The patch is said to take three minutes to reach an accurate and stable temperature, but after 15 minutes, we were still seeing readings that were too low. TempTraq notes there are a number of reasons for lower-than-expected readings, but if the patch isn’t delivering accurate temperatures, it’s irrelevant, and can even be dangerous if a parent is solely trusting TempTraq to take a child’s temperature — something we would never recommend.
Even if the product works perfectly for another user — which is no guarantee — very few people would have any interest in a $25 wearable thermometer that only has a lifespan of 24 hours. We think TempTraq’s a good idea, but we’d wait until the implementation improves and the price drops.
Company and Price
Compatibility: Bluetooth-enabled iPads, iPhones + iPods