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Your Android phone could soon get snore and cough detection abilities (Updated)

Update: The feature will likely come to Digital Wellbeing on Android phones.
By
September 5, 2022
google nest hub second generation review google fit sleep sensing disturbances respiratory rate
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google is reportedly testing a new sleep monitoring feature for Android devices.
  • It’s aimed at detecting nocturnal snores and coughs.
  • The feature will apparently come to the Digital Wellbeing suite.

Update: September 5, 2022 (2:22 AM ET): We now have a better idea of how Google plans to implement snore and cough detection on Android phones. 9to5Google dug into a beta version of the Digital Wellbeing app and discovered references to cough and snore detection in it.

“See how much you cough or snore during your scheduled bedtime,” reads a string of text discovered in the app’s code. Another string confirms the use of the Android device’s microphone to detect coughing and snoring. 9to5Google adds that the Digital Wellbeing app will offer details like “Average cough count” and “Average time snoring.”

Original article: May 27, 2022 (12:58 AM ET): Google is reportedly testing a way to utilize Android phones for detecting snores and coughs. 9to5Google discovered the feature in an APK teardown of the Google Health Studies app.

According to the report, strings in a recent update to the app reveal a “sleep audio collection” study. It’s only open to Googlers for now, and participating employees must have no more than one adult sleeper in the same room who does not work for a competitor company.

Explaining the study, Google says that its “Health Sensing team is actively working to bring an advanced suite of sensing capabilities and algorithms to Android devices with the goal of providing users with meaningful insight into their sleep.” This audio collection “supports this mission by providing data necessary to validate, tune, and develop such algorithms.”

The approach is similar to how Google Fit uses the camera on Android phones to measure heart and respiratory rate. Google’s second-gen Nest Hub also already has the Sleep Sensing feature that measures breathing and detects what could be disturbing a user at night, like coughing or snoring. It seems that the company is just porting that feature over to Android phones.

At this point, it’s unclear if the feature will come to all Android devices, including phones and tablets, or if it’s a Pixel exclusive. We also don’t know which app would house it, although Google Fit and the Bedtime hub in Google Clock are great contenders.