Though a pediatrician has developed“ The Hold” to stop almost any baby from crying, babies normally cry for a reason. Since they haven’t yet developed the language needed to express that they are hungry or have a wet diaper, scientists have stepped up and developed an app that will do just that.
Researchers from the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin have created the Infant Cries Translator, a smartphone app which can differentiate between four separate crying sounds thanks to a database of over 200,000 crying sounds. Collected over a two-year period from nearly 100 newborn infants, the Infant Cries Translator was created by analyzing the frequency of the individual screams, with researchers distinguishing minute changes in the acoustics of each.
“The Infant Cries Translator can differentiate between four different statuses of sounds of a baby’s cry, including hunger, a wet diaper, sleepiness, and pain,” Chang Chuan-yu, lead researcher on the app, said in the video above.
To use the app, parents upload an audio recording of their baby crying. The vast database of baby cries then analyzes the recording, and in seconds, the results show why your baby is crying. The app isn’t completely foolproof, according to Chang, but it’s results are promising.
“So far, according to our user feedback, our app’s accuracy can reach up to 92 percent for babies under two weeks,” Chang said. “As for the babies under one to two months, the app’s accuracy can reach up to 84, 85 percent. Even for a four-month-old baby, the accuracy can reach up to 77 percent.” The accuracy varies as the baby gets older because it adapts to it’s new living conditions.
The app is a valuable resource, however, since many new parents aren’t good at deciphering a cry. "It's a myth that you can tell what's wrong by the sound of the cry," Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician in Los Angeles and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block , told Parents. "Babies are like smoke alarms: You can't tell if you burnt the toast or if the whole house is burning down."