I was looking for a baby monitor, but most of full feature baby monitor are quite expensive. Good one with infrared night vision easily costs over $200 and it only comes with one screen, each extra screen costs at least $100.
When I was at the Richmond Night Market the other day, one stall caught my attention. It was selling generic made-in-China wireless IP camera. What a perfect baby monitor, it comes with everything I need. It has infrared night vision, remote control of the camera angle, two way audio and it only costs $80. I am sure I can find it cheaper at eBay, but for that price, why don’t I just give it a try.
It works like charm. The IP camera is very easy to setup, just plug it in, setup the WiFi password and it is good to go. The IP camera comes with software for PC and MAC that support multiple cameras at the same time and recording of the video. For extra screen, the IP camera also function as a mini webserver, so I can log into the IP camera and view the video feed from any computer or smartphone. If I set up the port routing in my modem, I can even see the video when I am away from home.
The performance is better than I had expected. For 320×240 resolution, I get close to 15fps. The frame rate drops down to about 5fps for 640×480 resolution. The frame rate does not drop when I view the video both on my computer and my smart phone at the same time. The audio is clear and the night vision is pretty amazing. For $80, or even cheaper, it beats any baby monitor out there in the market.
One of my Indian colleague is going to be a dad soon. I congratulated him and asked him is it a baby boy or baby girl. To my surprise, he said he have no idea. It turn out in India it is illegal for the doctor telling the parents the sex of the baby. The India government have such a law is because killing unborn baby girls is quite common in India. The male to female ratio in India is 93 to 100, which means 7 out of 100 men cannot find a wife. The problem is so bad that the government have to pass laws in order to have more baby girls.
I know Indian discriminate against woman, but discrimination alone won’t explain the killing of baby girl. Your son have to marry a woman when he grow up, if everyone only give birth to boy, where the wives come from? It turn out there is a financial penalty of having baby girl. In Indian tradition marriage, the parent of the bride has to give a large sum of money to the groom. Some people even take out a loan so that their daughter can marry the guy they like. Here is something does not make sense. According to the law of supply and demand, there are not enough women for every men in India. Women are short in supply and high in demand, their price should go up. In a free market of getting marriage, the groom should pay the large sum to find the right bride. In a long run, the Indian wedding tradition is due to change, nothing can defying the law of economics forever.
If I am an Indian parent, I rather my daughter remains daddy’s girl then paying a large sum to get her a husband. Any guy asking money from the in-law are not suitable to be a good husband. If the Indian wedding tradition is the cause of killing baby girls. Forbidding the doctor telling the parent the sex of the baby only treat the symptoms, it is not fixing the problem. Assume we have to work within the constraint of arranged marriage, maybe the government should setup an internet auction platform for match making and require all parents using the auction platform to arranged the marriage for their sons and daughters. An open auction platform just like eBay will show the true market value of the bride. Given the lack of women in India, the price signal should strong enough to reverse trend of killing baby girl. There is also a plan B, the Indian government can simply legalize gay marriage. For the 7 out of 100 poor men who can’t find a wife, they just marry another guy.