What Is Your Crying Baby Trying To Say? A New App Can Translate For You

Your baby is crying.

Is it hungry? Tired? Needs a diaper changed? Taiwanese researchers say their new app can tell the difference between a baby's varieties of cries and perhaps provide the answer.

The Infant Cries Translator can identify four distinct crying noises by recording them for comparison with a huge database, the app's developers at the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin say.

To create the database, the team spent two years collecting some 200,000 examples of crying sounds from around 100 newborn babies.

The app, when loaded on a smartphone, can analyze a baby's crying sounds in about 15 seconds, the researchers say.

"The Infant Cries Translator can differentiate four different statuses of sounds of baby crying, including hunger, the diaper getting wet, sleepy and pain," says research leader Chang Chuan-yu.

For infants under two weeks old, the app has an accuracy of 92 percent, researchers say, but the accuracy of its analysis falls off as the baby gets older.

Still, they say, the accuracy is still around 77 percent for a four-month-old baby, they note.

After six months of age, the app becomes less useful as babies become more comfortable in their environment, the researchers explain.

The sound database is constantly being updated in the cloud, and a machine-learning algorithm allows parents to personalize the app for their baby.

"After downloading this app, we only need to set the birth of date and nationality for the newborn baby," explains Chang.

When the baby begins to cry, pressing the app's record button for around 10 seconds sends the sound to the cloud.

After analysis using the database is complete, the result is returned to the parents' mobile device.

"So Mum can depend on the actual situation to determine whether the analysis result is correct or not, to make a revision for the app," Chang says.

The $2.99 app was made available in early 2015 for iOS at the Apple App Store and Android devices on Google Play.

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