Continuing our Spring-like theme of all things youthful this month here is a post for those of us in the Signals studio who have recently become, or are soon to be, parents; we have a good number of noisy, needy babies between us! From time to time, therefore, the kitchen chatter turns to parenting talk, from those currently immersed and those who are able to offer wisdom from a safe, retrospective distance.
Our personal and professional interests, quite naturally, combine in the form of useful (and useless) technology, so a Guardian article by Eleanor Tucker this month piqued our curiosity. She reviewed an app that has been designed, and road tested, by Rob Tong who is himself a sleep deprived parent.
SleepHero is described as “a smart app for tired parents”. It works by playing white noise which “mimics the sounds of a mother’s womb and provides comfort for newborns” or for toddlers, “the reassuring sound of a parent so the app allows you to record your own lullabies and stories”. It has an autopilot feature that “takes the night shift so if the app detects crying it plays back audio to settle the child back down, leaving parents to sleep in peace.” When the child is a little too old to be comforted by sound alone, and old enough to be manipulated by rewards (!) the app includes a reward chart too. It looks to offer something extremely simple yet streets ahead of the basic ‘white noise’ apps. SleepHero has been bookmarked for the next batch of Signals sprogs!