Why is my baby crying? It’s a crucial, daily question for many parents, and one that’s all too often answered with a defeated: ¯_(ツ)_/¯.
What if artificial intelligence could resolve that question for you? If there was a flat little orb the size of a dessert plate that could tell you exactly what your baby needs in that moment? That’s what Q-bear is trying to do.
At CES 2023, the Taiwanese company showed off its AI baby crying translator which aims to help parents resolve needs with less guesswork. The soft silicone-covered device, which can be fitted in a crib or stroller, uses Q-bear’s patented tech to analyze a baby’s cries to determine one of four needs from its “discomfort index”: hunger, a dirty diaper, sleepiness, and need for comfort. Q-bear’s translation comes within 10 seconds of a baby crying, and the company says it will become more accurate the more you use the device.
Q-bear’s device can also record health details, detect how sleepy or comfortable a baby is, and it can even automatically play soothing music. For instance, according to the folks at Q-bear, the device can automatically play a lullaby or a “patented womb sound” (which is a lot like white noise, but duller) and start a sleep aid light if the baby’s cry is determined to indicated tiredness — there’s also a full color nightlight. Parents can upload their own audiobooks or music or even record and upload their own voices for the Q-bear to use, too.
Users can also set a diaper inventory in the app that keeps track of supplies and sends a notification if the device determines a diaper change as a baby’s need. And beyond all of that, the Q-bear can interact with Alexa systems.
No matter what, the device will notify users of everything through the Q-bear app, where all your baby’s personal data is also stored. The company says that the device pairs only with the caregiver’s app, but it’s always necessary to be mindful that using apps that store personal health data always comes with a risk of privacy issues.
It’s also important to note, in a practical sense, that your baby might be crying for a reason that doesn’t line up with one of the four needs Q-bear can track for. Newborn babies are still developing ways to communicate, so they might be crying to tell you that they just wanna hang out or want a change of scenery.