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iPhone App Review: My Baby’s Beat

iPhone App Review: My Baby’s Beat

September 3rd, 2011 by

Have you ever wished you had a home sonogram machine so that you could listen to your own or your fetus’s heartbeat? Pushing the limits of the iPhone hardware is a new app from developer Matis, Inc., called My Baby’s Beat. While this app will not replace an actual medical appointment, it uses the iPhone’s built-in microphone, highly amplified, as a listening device for fetus’s in the 30-40 week range. You can even record the sound and share it via email and Facebook.

How It Works

The app first advises you to switch to airplane mode, which is good advice considering you’re placing a low-power EM transmitter near an unborn fetus. You also must have a set of headphones plugged in as well, and ramp the volume on your device all the way up. Once ready, you simply move the iPhone’s mic around and try to find your baby’s heartbeat. Once again, even the developers will tell you that this app should not replace medical advice, and if you can’t find you baby’s heartbeat it is nothing to get worried about. It can take some time, especially since you’re using a device not expressly designed for the purpose. Even trained medical professionals with a sonogram device can take a few minutes to find a heartbeat, so just the fact that you can use your phone in the first place is very impressive, even if it does take quite a bit longer.

There is a record button and an amplify button, as well as a feature to share your recordings via Facebook and email.

Pros And Cons

The possibility that this app would work at all is fairly amazing. What it does is essentially turn your iPhone’s microphone into a highly amplified listening device. Together with a set of headphones it becomes possible to listen to your own or your baby’s heartbeat. It’s tricky to be sure, and can take some time.

Since I am not pregnant, or female, I had to try it on my own heartbeat. It was hard to find, and I know where my heart is. I can only imagine that it must be difficult to find a baby’s heartbeat since it can change position and is so much smaller than an adult heart.

Nevertheless, it should be possible to do. For the 10 weeks or so that it would be recommended to use this app it seems like it would be a fun way to connect with the baby that is still growing inside you, and share the results with your family and friends. If you’re the enterprising and brave type you could even share it with an already-born child and let them use it as an electronic stethoscope. The possibilities for listening and experimentation are fairly robust: could it be a spy-device, letting you listen through walls? How about an impromptu shotgun mic? I don’t know what can be done with this app, but it seems like there’s an opportunity to experiment and find out.

Overall

My Baby’s Beat is an app that uses the iPhone’s microphone in an innovative way, allowing you to listen to and record your own or your baby’s heartbeat. It does what it’s intended to do , though performance and results will vary from person to person, depending on the fetus’s position and the user’s own patience.

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