Nova is communication support for first-time parents and their babies. It detects types of crying using AI algorithms, recognizes low-feeding sounds, and together with a smart ML system, it aims to predict their routine and habits.
Being a parent, in such a fast-changing world, can be very overwhelming. Most humans are Juggling between many tasks, live in parallel realities - especially since the pandemic has started, and there are just too many things that are going on in one's human mind, constantly. As a result, having a baby, who needs parents' full attention, is a game-changer and can add lots of stress into newborn parent's lives.
The concept developed as part of my master's and has an academic collaboration with the UCLA health app #Chatterbaby, inspired by Dr. Ariana Anderson.
INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION
Side by side with the first COVID19 lockdown, in April 2020, I started my project about ‘Parenting in Uncertainty’. I was aiming to bridge the gap between newborn babies, which are nature-related creatures, need lots of attention and a calm atmosphere, and the typical Tech-parent who is working non-stop and using, mostly, digital tools for communication.
My project was aiming to connect newborn parents and babies, and explore the cause and impact of stress, among parents. After asking almost 100 parents from the UK and Israel about their stress cause I decided to focus on parents for babies from 0-3 years old, since they are experiencing a higher level of stress within their lives.
My research question was - How Might We Support Parents' Anxiety While Nurturing Their Newborn Babies?
Through research, I found a connection between long hours of cry and parents' depression, anxiety, or even head trauma, among newborn babies. So I was looking for ways to reduce these feelings by understanding the reasons and the sounds of the cry.
How cry is different? The Chaos Theory
HUNGRY CRIES: As the urgency increases so do the maximum pitch and loudness, while the pause length between cries decreases.
FUSSY CRIES: Less tense than hungry or pain-induced cries.
PAIN CRIES: When babies are really distressed it is in the form of Chaos - turbulence or "roughness", random frequency, and scratchy quality.
Chatter Baby App
Academic collaboration with UCLA health
Through the research, I discovered a unique cry detector app called ChatterBaby. The ChatterBaby is a UCLA Health app, created by Ph.D. Ariana Anderson and aims to recognize the sounds of the cry in order to help parents understanding the reason for it.
After interviewing Ariana I decided to improve the concept of the app by designing a wearable device. I wished that parents won't look at their phones while nurturing their babies and it will be happening in the background, in a holistic way.
Snuggle Hold Tiger in a tree hold Eye to eye hold
Newborn Baby Main Holding Positions and wrist touchpoints
Design mindful concept - It was important to me to get parents out of their smartphones into the real world and to keep it simple. Therefore there is no screen.
Material - silicone, (FDA approved) light and gentle when it comes in touch with the baby.
How to use it? To activate the sound sensor the carer will simply press on the “logo button”. When the sound sensor is on (mic, peak detector, and an amplifier) a time log starts to collect all the sound types and the carer will be able to fill in the right information later on through the app. It allows the AI algorithm to define what kind of sound it was and learn the baby needs better.
Each cry sound will have different bulb color, so once it is ON the carer will know quickly what the baby wants.
The user can manually change the setting so the wristband will be automatically activated by the crying sound.
*All settings and tracking on the baby behaviour will be happening in the "nova app".