Google is working on built-in hum detection for Pixel, Android

As seen by camera-based heart and respiratory rate tracking in Fit for Android, one aspect of Google’s Health initiative is leveraging existing devices to collect health data. Google is now testing snore and cough detection on the device for Android and/or Pixel.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” article, we decompiled the latest version of an app that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we are able to see various lines of code in them which provide a glimpse of possible future functionality. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ship these features, and our interpretation of them may be imperfect. We will try to allow the ones that are close to completion, however, to show you what they will look like in case they ship. With that in mind, read on.

Studies Google Health hit version 2.0 this week to support the launch of a new digital wellbeing study. The channels in this update use a “Sleep Audio Collection” study that is only available to Google employees.

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You must be a full-time Googler with an Android phone to participate in this study. The environmental conditions required for this study are to have no more than one adult sleeper in the same room who does not work for a competing company.

Google explains that its “Health Sensing team is working to bring an advanced suite of sensing capabilities and algorithms to Android devices in order to provide users with meaningful insight into their sleep.” This audio collection “supports that mission by providing the data needed to validate, tune, and develop such algorithms.”

These “cough and snore algorithms” will result in a “bedside monitoring” feature on Android devices that works in a “privacy-preserving and on-device” manner for “nighttime cough and snoring”.

It’s unclear whether noise and cough detection will be a broader Android feature or a Pixel exclusive. At the very least, it could premiere on the Pixel. It’s unclear which app feature this will live in, with Google Fit and Clock being obvious candidates.

In 2020, Google introduced a Bedtime Hub in Google Clock that works with Digital Wellbeing to estimate time spent in bed. This involves granting the Clock app access to motion and light detection. Meanwhile, Fitbit offers Snore and Noise Detection on the Sense and Versa 3, while the second-gen Nest Hub has a similar capability.

Another theory to consider is that this capability is for the upcoming Tablet Nest in its – supposed – Smart Display/docked configuration (via pogo pins). That said, Google would reach more users by making it available on all Android phones.

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