New baby-monitoring technology could aid sleepless parents

New parents know the agony of checking on a sleeping baby, whether it's installing monitors in every room or forgoing sleep to go into the baby's room every half an hour. New technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists aims to fix that, giving parents what they want: images of their sleeping infant.

The MIT software, called Eularian Video Magnification, dramatizes changes in a video's pixels, exaggerating any motions it detects--namely, breathing, The Atlantic reports. An accompanying video from The New York Times, with the scientists explaining how the technology works, demonstrate other types of motion that can be detected by the software and possible applications.

The program was originally designed to monitor neonatal babies, but the scientists realized they could apply the algorithm to other videos to reveal changes invisible to the naked eye, the Times reports. After some publicity last summer, the scientists were inundated with requests for the program for varying things--from healthcare to lie detection.

While the MIT team has made the code available to anyone for download, using it is more complicated. So Quanta Research Cambridge, a Taiwan-based laptop manufacturer which helped finance the project, came up with a way for people to upload video clips to their website and see a video run through the program, according to the Times. The MIT team also hopes the technology will become available a smartphone app.

Other recent strides in wireless monitoring include wrist-worn devices that monitor patient's vital signs to make clinical decisions, transmitting patient data to clinicians' remote viewing devices and letting them know of any signs of health deterioration.

To learn more:
- read the New York Times report
- read the Atlantic report

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