New monitor could help translate baby cries

It's not easy trying to understand a screaming baby, but help could soon be on the way with a monitor that interprets cries

Trying to guess whether it’s milk, sleep or cuddles that your screaming baby wants could soon be a thing of the past as scientists work on a new monitor that can interpret crying.

The new technology, currently being developed by Japanese scientists, works by recording the sound of babies’ cries and their emotional state at the time. This will lead to a simple formula to work out exactly what a baby wants when it gets upset.

The team at Muroran Institute of Technology, in Hokkaido, claims that they have already been successful at differentiating between cries of pain and different cries. It’s only a matter of time before they identify the rest.

‘As any new parent knows, babies have a very loud method of revealing their emotional state – crying,’ says Prof Tomomasa Nagashima, who is involved with the study.

‘Unfortunately, the parenting handbook does not offer guidance on how to determine what the crying means.

‘The technique might one day be incorporated into a portable electronic device or app to help parents and carers decide on a course of action when their child is crying.’

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