By Michael Thomsen For Dailymail.com
Published: 23:23 BST, 17 October 2019 | Updated: 23:24 BST, 17 October 2019
Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a new app for smart speakers like Amazon's Echo to help parents monitor their baby's breathing.
Called BreathJunior, the experimental app will be able to measure the rate of a baby's breathing and detect symptoms of sleep apnea.
The team initially conducted a test of the device with five babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Washington.
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BreathJunior (pictured above) is an experimental app that monitors a baby's breathing using a smart speaker
According to a report from MIT Tech Review, the team plans to eventually release the app as a commercial product via the company Sound Life Sciences.
But first, they'll present the results of the trial at the upcoming MobiCom, a yearly conference on mobile computing in Los Cabos, Mexico.
The app is designed around emitting and recording white noise.
The soundwaves from the white noise are sent out from the speaker, and then recorded back from the room by the smart speaker's microphone.
This app is able to filter out the original signal from the white noise from what is reflected back.
The minute differences between the original white noise signal and the version of it reflected back from the room are then analyzed to determine the baby's location and diaphragm movements.
In June, University of Washington researchers also developed a smart speaker app to detect if someone might be having a heart attack.
The app listened for specific kinds of