A Taiwanese research team has invented a new mobile application designed to differentiate between the varying sounds a baby makes when crying. Nathan Frandino reports.
Why's this baby crying? Well, there's an app that can tell us. It's called the 'Infant Cries Translator'. It was developed at Taiwan's National Yunlin University of Science and Technology by a team led by Chang Chuan-Yu. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) NATIONAL YUNLIN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT'S DEAN, CHANG CHUAN-YU, SAYING: "The Infant Cries Translator can differentiate four different statuses of sounds of a baby's cry, including hunger, a wet diaper, sleepiness, and pain." An audio recording of the baby crying is uploaded to a Cloud Drive. It's then analyzed in a database of around 200,000 crying sounds Chang and his colleagues collected over two years. And moments later, the results are in......This baby's hungry. Chang warns the app is not foolproof yet. But the results, he says, are promising. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) NATIONAL YUNLIN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT'S DEAN, CHANG CHUAN-YU, SAYING: "So far, according to our user feedback, the APP's accuracy can reach to 92 percent for the babies under two weeks. As for the babies under one to two months, the APP's accuracy can also reach up to 84 to 85 percent. Even for a four-month-old baby, the accuracy can reach up to 77 percent." The accuracy rating varies because over time the baby adapts to new conditions. But for new parents, the app can be a valuable resource. Guo Young-ming's baby girl was born on December 17. He's been using the app since she was a week old. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 41-YEAR-OLD, NEW DAD, GUO YOUNG-MING, SAYING: "Actually for new parents like us, we are most afraid of seeing the baby cry and then we don't know what we should do. When we don't know, the APP can make some simple judgments for us so we are able to know what our next step is." And that next step could translate to a happier and quieter baby. At least for now.