Technology could soon identify why baby is crying.
Babies change their cry to signify if they are hungry, sad or even in pain, and technology could soon identify which, scientists believe. Identifying the changes could lead to the development of baby monitors capable of diagnosing an infant’s complaint, they claim.
Researchers in Japan recorded the sound of babies crying and their emotional state.
The sound waves they have captured will lead to a simple formula to work out exactly what a baby wants when it cries, they say.
The team claims that they have already successfully identified the difference between cries of pain and other types of cry.
While the researchers are currently using large computers to work out the meaning of babies’ cries, they say they could one day produce hand-held baby monitors to do the same job.
The findings are published in the International Journal of Biometrics.
Prof Tomomasa Nagashima, from Muroran Institute of Technology, in Hokkaido, said: “Baby monitors of the future could translate infant cries, so that parents will know for certain whether their child is sleepy, hungry, needing a change, or in pain.
“As any new parent knows, babies have a very loud method of revealing their emotional state – crying.
“Unfortunately, the parenting handbook does not offer guidance on how to determine what the crying means.”
One of the problems is that infants cannot speak to confirm why they are crying, Prof Nagashima said.
“Various researchers have tried to classify infant emotions based on an analysis of the crying pattern but with little success so far,” he said.
He added: “Our team used a sound pattern recognition approach that uses a statistical analysis of the frequency of cries … to classify different types of crying.
“We were then able to correlate the different recorded audio … with a baby’s emotional state as confirmed by the child’s parents.”