Baby monitor uses AI to work out why your child is crying

Q-bear will give one of four reasons why a baby is crying  (Quantum Music)
Q-bear will give one of four reasons why a baby is crying (Quantum Music)

Taiwanese tech company Quantum Music has unveiled Q-bear, which it calls an “AI baby crying translator”, at CES 2023.

At first glance Q-bear looks like a pretty ordinary crib-bound night light, but its maker claims this gadget can tell why your baby is crying within 10 seconds of the baby letting out the first bleat.

Its baby mind-reading is somewhat limited though. The reasons for crying it can recognise sit in four categories. These are a soiled nappy, hunger, a “need for comfort” and sleepiness.

The Q-bear does this by analysing “different types of cries” using an AI-assisted algorithm that has been trained using 10,000 samples of these cries. That may sound like a lot but it is actually a low number of samples to train one of these models.

Quantum Music says the accuracy of Q-bear will improve as you use it, suggesting it uses a form of machine learning to adjust the model to each baby.

You’ll see a notification that tells you what sort of emergency has arisen. And, in some cases, the Q-bear will react on its own.

If it thinks a cry is a tiredness-related wail, Q-bear can play a nursery rhyme. You’ll also be informed if a cry is out of the little one’s normal range of responses because it uses data to work out a “pain scale”, which is tracked alongside the soiled nappy and tiredness alerts.

Q-bear features

The Q-bear USP could be brilliant or useless based on whether it is reliably accurate or not. However, it does also have some more ordinary features too.

There’s a psychrometer, which measures room humidity. The front of the Q-bear is a multi-coloureLED panel, used as a night light and to show the nature of the last baby event.

It has a built-in speaker, which can play a soothing “patented womb sound” and pre-loaded lullabies, and you can record your own audio and send it to the device.

Q-bear also supports Alexa, for hands-free night light activation. And it has a silicone exterior to make its surface softer.

There’s naturally a concern here about how data is handled. The website says “the crying data doesn’t need to be uploaded to the server and can be identified only locally via edge-computing technology”. It adds: “There is no need to worry about data leaks or hacks, and the privacy of users is fully protected.”

The company would say that, of course, but perhaps you should save worrying about that until Q-bear is confirmed for a UK release. There are no current details on pricing or when this baby tracker might go on sale.