The app that tells you why your baby cries

CityPress - - News -

There is only one ques­tion new par­ents ask: why is our baby cry­ing?

A team in Tai­wan has cre­ated an app for that – and it tells par­ents whether their baby is hun­gry, tired or needs a new nappy.

The In­fant Cries Trans­la­tor is a cloud-based pro­gram that can de­code a baby’s cries from when it’s born un­til it is six months old. Best of all, it takes only 15 sec­onds to fig­ure out what’s wrong.

To use it, you’ll record a clip of your child’s cry on the app, and it is up­loaded to a data­base. The file is then com­pared with an au­dio li­brary and a ver­dict pops up on the screen.

Ac­cord­ing to chief re­searcher Chuan-Yu Chang, ac­cu­racy is as high as 92%. Af­ter go­ing on sale last year, the app has as many as 10 000 users world­wide. There are 353 000 ba­bies born each day in the world, ac­cord­ing to UN Chil­dren’s Fund – and, with them, a whole lot of new par­ents.

Tai­wan has one of the low­est birth rates in the world – with 0.8 recorded as the av­er­age num­ber of ba­bies per woman. This is largely be­cause of the high cost of liv­ing, which prompts more peo­ple to put ba­bies on hold in favour of ca­reers.

But de­vel­op­ers are con­vinced their baby reader has an im­por­tant place be­yond Tai­wan. Af­ter all, thou­sands of ba­bies are born ev­ery day, so there are more than enough sleep-de­prived and con­fused par­ents to visit the app store.

“From my own ex­pe­ri­ence as a fa­ther, I know that some­times when a baby cries, the par­ents feel a bit like cry­ing too,” Chang said. “Hu­mans have emo­tions and make mis­takes. The app doesn’t get flus­tered.”

Lin, The China Post – Enru

City Press is the South African part­ner of Im­pact Jour­nal­ism Day, a global ini­tia­tive that col­lects so­lu­tions­based sto­ries from around the world. See page 15

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

BABY WHIS­PERER Dr Chuan-Yu Chang, head re­searcher on the In­fant Cries Trans­la­tor

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