Android Phones To Track Coughs, Snores Soon; Will Your Health Data Be Safe?

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Google has been working on many new updates for the Pixel phones, which are expected to eventually rollout to other Android phones. One such new update spotted is the ability of the smartphone to detect one’s coughs and snores. The on-device detection of snores and coughs could first arrive on Pixel phones.

Android Phones To Track Coughs, Snores Soon

Android Phones To Detect Coughs, Snores

A report from 9To5 Google reveals an APK teardown of the Google Health Studies app. It was found that Google is working on an on-device cough and snore detection feature for Android and Pixel phones. “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,” Google notes.

“Strings in that update reveal a ‘Sleep Audio Collection’ study that’s only available to Google employees,” the report states. This means, the ‘Sleep Audio Collection’ study is currently available for those part of the study, who is required to have an Android phone, and be a full-time Google employee.

The study also has a few environmental conditions, which include having one adult sleeper in the same room who doesn’t work for a competitor company. From the looks of it, Google is working on an advanced sensing capability for future Android devices. This would provide a better insight into the user’s sleeping pattern.

Google Cough, Snore Detection: When Is It Coming?

The cough and snore sensors also raise a couple of privacy concerns. For the same, Google states the supported Android and Pixel phones would include bedside monitoring features to preserve privacy. This means the data would be collected, recorded, and processed on the user’s phone and wouldn’t be transmitted to Google Cloud.

Presently, the new sensor to detect cough and snores is under development. It’s unclear if the new feature would arrive only on Pixel phones or also on Google-made Android phones. For all we know, the new cough and snore sensors would arrive first on Google Pixel devices before a wider rollout.

Presently, many such health-centric features were first launched on Google Pixel phones. For instance, the heart rate and respiratory rate detection features were released on Pixel phones before arriving on supported Android devices.

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Story first published: Saturday, May 28, 2022, 15:12 [IST]

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