Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Friday, 22 January 2010

Replacing 200,000 years of evolution...

... there's an app for that.
An iPhone application that claims to be able to tell parents what their baby's cries mean has been launched.
The Cry Translator app, which costs £17,99, is said by its designers to be 96 per cent accurate in interpreting cries of distress from babies.

Far be it for this non parent to suggest that since the previous several thousand generations of our ancestors managed to raise offspring without it this might not be 18 quid well spent. Sounds like another solution looking for a problem to me.
Researchers led by Dr Antonio Portugal Ramírez, a Spanish paediatrician, developed the project after finding that babies' wails could be broken down into five separate categories.
They learned that all babies, regardless of the language they are exposed to at home, have the same distinctive cries to indicate whether they are hungry, annoyed, tired, stressed or bored.

Interesting. Since just about every new parent I've ever known has told me how they could identify a distinctive cry that means 'oh dear, I appear to have shit myself again' I wonder if there's a missing category. Perhaps it's part of the stressed variety ('Oh noes, oh noes, I have shit myself again') or the annoyed type ('Oh for fucking fuck's fuckety sake, I've shit myself again'). In any case there could be an interesting study into the speed of evolution in our species. How many generations will it take for babies to develop another distinctive cry, this time meaning: 'put that fucking iPhone down for a few minutes and pay some fucking attention to me you thoughtless bitch, I'm hip deep in my own excrement and if you don't do something about it you're going to get a whole day's worth when you're stuck in the car with me*'?

Sure, cough up £17.99 for this if you want to, and maybe it'll even do what it claims. But is it really that hard to just work out for ourselves what the ankle biter's screaming about? After all people have been doing that since flint was high tech.

UPDATE: Of course I realise that it could have been worse, and sure enough it is.

* Yes, I know I've shown this before but it's too good to use only once.
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