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January 21, 2022

New iPhone app claims to translate your baby's cries

Technology and parenting isn’t a new marriage.

We all remember that Simpsons  episode, where Homer’s half-brother brother, Herb, develops the Baby Translator with Maggie to decipher a baby’s cries.

It was a cartoon and, as expected, fantasy. But was it so far off?

Spanish researchers have developed an iPhone app that claims to be able to translate a baby’s cries, bringing Herb’s dream to an apparent reality.

According to the U.K.’s Sun  newspaper, the new $29.99 app can tell parents “instantly” what their child’s wails really mean.

The app works similar to the popular Shazam download you might’ve seen on Apple’s commercials, which uses the phone’s mic to identify what song is playing over any set of speakers.

Paediatricians discovered infants have five distinct universal cries – regardless of language, says the Sun – that tell whether a baby is hungry, annoyed, tired, stressed or bored.

The “Cry Translator,” which aims to identify the mood of your child based on its cry, claims a pretty impressive 96 per cent accuracy rate, if you believe the developers.

But a 1.5 star rating (out of 5) at the App Store might sound some alarms, and user reviews on the product’s download page don’t appear flattering.

“This app is junk,” writes one reviewer. “It randomly puts up a (sic) issue with your baby. My son had all of the symptoms in one tantrum. Don’t waste the (money).”

Even if the app were to work flawlessly, this seems to be another instance of the gift and curse of technology. While it would be a convenience to overwhelmed parents, it’s likely to make them too reliant on technology.

“Learning to interpret cries is part of the bonding process” between you and your child, says Siobhan Freegard, a parenting expert on the site Netmums.com.

“(It) forms the foundation for good communication.”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...