Listnr Recognizes Finger Snaps and Your Baby’s Cries

As voice recognition becomes more popular throughout the home – looking at you in particularly, Microsoft and Amazon – the number of smart devices hooked up to voice control is bound to increase. But Rie Ehara, designer of Listnr, understands that the foundational technology can actually be used for a lot more.

This sound recognition device isn’t that interested in picking up on voices: It wants to listen to all the sounds of your home and give you a helping hand, based on your own customization. The combination of sound identification and customizable smart responses make this Kickstarter project both unique and particularly promising.

Listnr has two distinct functions (for now). First, it recognizes simple sounds like a fingersnap, and responses with a direct action. Second, it can pick up on a baby’s cry and interpret what kind of cry it is. Currently the device is set to pick up on when a baby is crying, laughing, bubbling and screaming. It can send notifications to your smartphone about whichever sound it thinks your baby is making.

When it comes to snaps, the device is designed to work automatically with Philips Hue light bulbs, but it is also API ready, which means that developers can create ways for sounds to manage all sorts of devices. Listnr also comes with its own LED light, which can change colors based on the type of sound that it hears, hopefully adjusting to the general mood of the room (although why you would want an LED light to tell you that you’re having a loud argument is a little unclear). It is designed to only activate if it hears sounds above a certain threshold, to avoid incidental problems.

For now, Listnr does seem to be a combination of an advanced baby monitor and a handy clap-on light, but little else. However, the hackability of the device, plus the tremendous potential for it to recognize other sounds and eventually respond with a variety of commands, is enough to hold interest. For now Listnr works only with iOS 8 or later, but the project is committed to providing Android compatibility if it fulfills its goals.

If you want to help with that goal and get discounts or deals, you can pledge between $99 and $399. A pledge of over $119 gets you at least one unit, set to ship late this year. Check out the Kickstarter page to see how far along the project currently is.

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Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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