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New smart nappy design from Alphabet’s Verily can tell the difference

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GOOGLE has come up with a smart nappy design that can detect if a baby has done a number one or number two – and it sounds like a right stinker.

Not to mention a bit invasive – then again, this is Google we're talking about.

The concept uses moisture sensors to detect what's going on in the trunks.

Once it confirms the new event down under, it will ping the toddler's parent or caregiver on their smartphone about the status of the smelly new arrival.

The alerts will likely then be stored on a connected device or mobile app to keep a record of each and every event.

Whether it's any better than regular, good-old sniff tests remains to be seen.

But the fact that your nose already tells you all you need to know about a potential nappy change kind of renders the concept dead on arrival.

The firm envisions the wearable will have charging and sensing elements embedded in its absorbent areas.

These elements – made out of gold, copper, platinum, and conductive polymers – would measure any changes in activity between the various areas of the nappy that are in the drop zone.

This would allow the wirelessly connected nappy to take exact measurements of each new bombardment, revealing if it's pee or poo.

How the wearable would then deal with the soggy results remains unclear.

The integrated sensors can link up to an attachable electronic gizmo hooked to the front of the nappy.

This could provide a power source or transmitter that will relay the activity signal to a connected device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Similar barmy gadgets have sprung up from startups over the past few years with little success – though that hasn't stopped Google's parent Alphabet from pushing ahead with its patent.

The company has designated the task to its Verily lab, which is known for producing ambitious health gadgets.

They include smart contact lenses that detect glucose levels, a spoon for people with tremors, and robots that help with surgeries.

But it insists that the concept doesn't mean that the nappy is a sure bet.

"Future offerings should not be inferred from our patent applications," the company told Ars Technica.

"Verily files patent applications regularly on various ideas and inventions, which may or may not mature [to] products or services."

Just as well then, because this idea smells off.

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