Our understanding of Google’s ambitions for snore and cough detection on Android phones has improved. The Digital Wellbeing app is testing a beta version that collects data on cough and snore.
An excerpt of text included in the app’s code states, “See how much you cough or snore throughout your allotted bedtime.” Another string verifies that cough detection is done via the Android device’s microphone. The “Average cough count” and “Average time snoring” statistics will be provided by the Digital Wellbeing app.
A method for using Android phones to detect snores and coughs is apparently being tested by Google. In an APK deconstruction of the Google Health Studies app, the feature was exposed.
The article claims that strings in a recent software version suggest a “sleep audio collection” study. For the time being, it is exclusively available to Google employees, and those who take part must have more than one adult sleeper in the same room who does not work for a rival organisation.
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Google provides an explanation of the study and states that its “Health Sensing team is actively working to bring an advanced suite of sensing technologies and algorithms to Android devices with the objective of giving consumers with relevant insight into their sleep.” The data provided by this audio collection “supports this objective by supplying the information required to validate, tweak, and evolve such algorithms.”
Similar methods are used by Google Fit, which measures heart and respiration rates using the camera on Android phones. The Sleep Sensing feature of Google’s second-generation Nest Hub already measures respiration and picks up on sounds like coughing or snoring that might wake up a user at night. The corporation appears to be just transferring that capability to Android phones.
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It’s not yet known if the functionality will be available on Android phones and tablets in general or only on the Pixel. However, Google Fit and the Bedtime hub in Google Clock are strong contenders. We also don’t know which app would house it.