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Musical instrument unveiled for unborn babies

OTTAWA: A wearable electronic device has been unveiled by Canadian researchers for women expecting a child and the device is dubbed as “world’s first prenatal musical instrument.”

Aura Pon, who received her PhD in music technology this month from the University of Calgary, and colleague Johnty Wang, who is working on a PhD in music technology at McGill University, unveiled the Womba, a device that is strapped across a pregnant woman’s stomach to translate her fetus’ kicks and other movements into music.

Pon said she first conceived of the Womba when she was expecting a baby with her first child in 2013.

“I thought it would be kind of fun to have him make sound,” Pon told CTV News. “I’m always interested in different ways you can interact with sound and music.”

The first version of the instrument was very basic, Pon said.

“The location of certain kicks would set off certain chords,” Pon said. “As far as being a bonding tool, I’ll tell you that it was pretty amazing to be able to hear my baby making these sounds. It was magical.”

She said the latest version of the Womba is far more advanced, giving parents the option of hearing their child’s movements transformed into the sounds of multiple different instruments.



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