For babies, the sound of their mother’s voice isn’t just comforting — it can be the key to healthy brain development. That’s not easy to manage forpremature babies stuck in incubators, though, and Samsung thinks smartphones might help out. Its Voice of Life app lets a mom record her heartbeat and voice on her phone, and “wombifies” that audio (that is, remove the high frequencies) for playback on a speaker at the baby’s side. It not only provides a reassuring sound in the middle of a neonatal care unit, but helps parents connect to a child that they may rarely see in those crucial first weeks or months after birth.
Despite the taxi industry’s protests against its presence and all the legal issues it’s had to face, Uber continues to thrive. In fact, it says it’s given itsbillionth — yes, that’s billion with a “b” — ride in London on Christmas Eve. Since the company launched in June 2010, that’s an average of over 15 million trips a month. The bigger portion of that billion probably took place more recently though, while the service was spreading to more locations around the globe.