Hungry or sleepy? This app can tell why your baby is crying

January 7, 2016 8:06 am
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For new parents who can’t figure out why their baby is crying, this app may be a great help, if for no other reason than to take tend to the baby’s needs and perhaps avoid complaints from the neighbours.

This new app can differentiate a variety of crying sounds made by babies has been developed by Taiwanese researchers.

Called the Infant Cries Translator, it was developed at the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin and can differentiate between four separate crying sounds by recording the sounds of babies and comparing them against a vast database.

Over a two year period researchers collected around 200,000 crying sounds from approximately 100 new-born babies, and uploaded them to an online database. Analysis of the frequency of individual screams among these helped researchers, led by Chang Chuan-yu and Dr Chen Si-da, distinguish subtle differences in acoustics.

The resulting app shows analysis of a baby’s cries on the user’s phone within 15 seconds. Researchers say the app has an accuracy of 92 per cent for infants under two weeks old, helping inform parents when their child is hungry, sleepy, in pain, or has a wet diaper. The analysis becomes less accurate the older the baby is.

“The Infant Cries Translator can differentiate four different statuses of sounds of baby crying, including hunger, the diaper getting wet, sleepy and pain,” says Chang. “So far, according to the feedback from users, the accuracy of the app we’ve tested can reach 92 per cent for babies under two weeks old. As for the babies under one or two months, the accuracy of the app can also reach up to 84 or 85 per cent. Even for the four month old baby, the accuracy can reach 77 per cent.”