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  • Japan Tests AI-Powered Device To Help Babies Sleep Longer

    Could this device be sleep-deprived parents' new bestfriend?
    by Angela Baylon .
Japan Tests AI-Powered Device To Help Babies Sleep Longer
PHOTO BY instagram/ai.nenne
  • Japan is known as one of the technologically advanced countries in the world. It is among the frontrunners when it comes to innovations with the goal of solving social challenges. And just recently, its industry ministry has begun the promotion of the so-called "babytech" products and services.

    Japan's industry ministry supports the use of advanced technologies that promise to make parenting a little easier, especially for working moms and dads. "With dual-income households increasing, the ministry hopes to make it easier for people to balance work and child-rearing through the use of babytech," The Japan Times reported.

    What are babytech products?

    In a 2021 article by another daily Japanese newspaper, it is said that the term "babytech" was first proposed during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show held in the U.S. The Mainichi report says babytech "supports a wide range of fields such as pregnancy, childbirth and infancy, and there are many devices and apps that can be linked to smartphones and the internet."

    One of the most common babytech nowadays is a baby monitor, which gives on-the-go parents real-time video and audio monitoring. Some baby monitors can even track a child's breathing while they sleep!

    Some babytech are more advanced, like the smart crib introduced last 2021 by the startup company Cradlewise. In a feature by Insider, the crib uses artificial intelligence to monitor a baby's sleeping pattern and rock them back to sleep. This then offers new parents to get a few more hours of sleep!

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    Back to the present year, last January 2022, Japan's industry ministry and the city of Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, launched a project to test babytech services and a device, which also hopes to give sleep-deprived parents of babies a break.

    "In the project, Odawara residents are lent a device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help lull a baby to sleep and reduce the burden of dealing with nighttime crying," according to the Japan Times.

    In 2021, Japanese maker First Ascent released Ainenne, a device that can analyze a baby's crying using AI and make sense of the baby's emotion. Tech review website Trusted Review says Ainenne can "tell you whether your baby is hungry, sleepy, angry, bored or uncomfortable."

    The sleep training device, which looks like a night lamp, can also produce white noise, "which blocks out 'harmful' sounds" so babies can sleep longer. Trusted Review writer Ryan Jones says aside from Japan, Ainenne is expected to be available in the U.S. market this 2022 for $400.

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    Aside from the device, pregnant and breastfeeding women in Odawara can also sign up for an online consultation service to get medical advice.

    The Japan Times said the project would end this February 2022, and the ministry will survey residents to get feedback on the effectiveness of babytech products and the services they got to use. "Based on the results, the ministry plans to consider ways to further promote babytech."

    Other babytech services already in use in Japan are an app that suggests places and travel routes that are stroller-friendly and a baby food delivery service.

    Would you purchase an AI-powered baby sleep trainer if it becomes available in the Philippines? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

    Click here to read about  Sunshine Garcia's hilarious take on the struggle of being a new mom.

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