Candy Investigates iPhone App That Translates Babies’ Cries
Nov 9, 2009 | Filed Under: In the News | Tags: Technology
I must admit, my interest was piqued when I read about a new iPhone application that supposedly deciphers the meaning behind a baby’s cries. After six years of research and development, the Cry Translator app has finally been released; it uses patented technology to analyze the tone and duration of the cries and match them to one of five possible types: hungry; sleepy; annoyed; stressed; or bored — then even offers tips on how to treat the child according to the type of cry.
“These five cries are universal to all babies regardless of culture or language,” creators Pedro Barrera and Luis Meca said. “For example, a stressed cry has a strong, short sound, falls slowly and then rises again, whereas a hungry cry is high-pitched and energetic.”
The company says its technology is 96 percent accurate and works for any child, regardless of culture or language.
So, yes, I was intrigued and downloaded the application from Apple’s iTunes App Store for $9.99. As soon as I did so, I was happy to hear Miss Skye wailing and giving Mr. Candy a hard time upstairs. Hooray! I could test my new toy.
“Don’t you dare soothe that baby!” I cried as I ran upstairs.
When I arrived in Skylar’s room, she was lying on the diaper changing table, cold and wet, after her bath — and she was not at all pleased. So I did what any caring mother would do in that situation: Shoved my iPhone in her face and pressed “START.”
The Cry Translator’s analysis: Bored.
“Huh. That could be right.”
“No, she’s COLD,” said Mr. Candy, rolling his eyes and dressing Miss Skye in cozy fleece pajamas. Darn! She was starting to look content.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long to use the Translator again. As soon as I started combing the peach fuzz on Skylar’s head, she let me know that she did NOT approve of her Donald Trump-like comb-over.
“Okay, that probably is right,” Mr. Candy demurred.
I became a woman obsessed. The phone continued to give me seemingly accurate reads on my daughter’s cries: Why, yes, she WAS hungry, Mr. Translator! Tell me more! What does she want for Christmas? Any thoughts about the healthcare plan?
Then I pretended to cry into the phone.
Er, okay. Then Mr. Candy did the same, sounding not unlike a sheep on crack. Here is what the Translator had to say about my hubby’s strung-out sheep impression:
I know, I know… SHOCKING, right? I had no idea my phone was so freakin’ dirty. Gross. Got Windex? As far as the Translator’s bogus analysis of Mr. Candy’s “cry” goes, well… not so shocking, really.
Although I will probably be obsessed with using this app for a day or two, I recommend saving the $9.99 and investing it in something that will help with your baby’s cries, such as a swaddle blanket. Or ear plugs. I also highly recommend getting a bedazzled phone cover such as my own. VERY popular with the twelve-and-under set; I can barely walk by a middle school without getting mobbed by little girls in love with my blinged-out phone. Also…? Regardless of why my baby cries, all I need to do is flash my shiny phone at her, and BOOM! That comb-over is but a distant memory.