Parents can rest easier while their baby sleeps as researchers have developed a new device that sends out alters to parents' phone if it detects that the baby isn't breathing or has abnormal heart rates.

The baby monitor straps around the baby's foot and uses pulse oximetry to monitor the heart rate and blood-oxygen levels. If the baby suddenly stops breathing or has changes in heart rate, the monitor notifies the parents via smartphone. The device isn't invasive and is completely wireless.

The research team from Brigham Young University hopes that their invention can reduce the number of babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Around 2,500 babies die of SIDS every year in the U.S.

"Our hope is that we can give parents time to react and see that something's wrong before it's too late," said Jacob Colvin, senior inventor of the monitor and a father of two.

Colvin and team showed their prototype Owlet Baby Monitor at the third annual Student Innovator of the Year competition. The team won both first place and crowd favorite awards that totaled about $6,000.

The team still has a long way to go before they are ready with their final design for their monitor. The team has already filed for patent for the design.

"The Owlet baby monitor has the potential to really benefit our society -- and bring some peace of mind to new parents," said Justin Zsiros, faculty advisor to the competition.

"If we can hear just one mother say that we made a difference, it would all be worth it. That makes all the difference in the world," Colvin said.