Google unveiled an update last December that allowed Pixel phones to track your heart rate and respiration using the device’s camera, accelerometer, and microphone. The company seems to be furthering that effort with a cough and snore detection feature on Android.
An APK teardown done by 9to5Google uncovered a string of code in version 2.0 of Google’s Health Studies app that revealed it is testing cough and snore detection features for Android. Both features are part of the app team’s Sleep Audio Collection study.
The teardown revealed text that said, “You must be a Full Time Googler with an Android phone to participate in this study. 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 competitor company.”
Google noted 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.” Also, it noted that the audio collected in the study will help Google “validate, tune, and develop” the algorithms needed to properly support the team’s mission.
To be clear, the app will record audio while you sleep so that it can actually detect and log when you cough or snore. Google’s Nest Hub can already do that—as well as track your sleep—using its Motion Sense technology. Likewise, Fitbit has added similar functionality to its Sense and Versa 3 devices.
Google’s algorithms in its Health Studies app that can detect both coughs and snoring will become part of a “bedside monitoring” feature for Android devices with on-device privacy preservation. It’s still unclear whether it will roll out for any device running Android, or be a Pixel exclusive, just for Google’s Pixel Watch or Pixel smartphones.
Google has been focusing on more health-oriented features lately. Most notably, it has added deeper integration for various activity metrics onto its Nest Hub devices. Late last year, Google revealed that it was making the Nest Hub’s unique sleep tracking software a Fitbit Premium exclusive in 2023.