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A New Samsung App Brings Mothers Closer To Their Premature Babies

Voices of Life mimics the womb to help mothers communicate with infants stuck in neonatal intensive care.

Look, we know that face swapping and dubsmashing are a lot of fun, but turns out that apps and mobile tech can be used for a completely different kind of good. Samsung is the latest to prove such a wild theory by creating an app to help mothers better communicate with their infants stuck in neonatal intensive care.

Babies born prematurely typically have to spend a significant amount of time in a bubble—that's basically the hospital's clinical approximation of a mother's womb. Now Samsung and agency Leo Burnett Chicago have created Voices of Life, an app and specially constructed speaker that puts mothers closer to their babies who have to spend time in the bubble. Moms can record their heartbeat, as well as recorded messages like stories and lullabies, which are all played back to the baby through a speaker that muffles the sound to mimic how the child would hear things from within the womb.

In an email, Leo Burnett creative director Debbie Mudd and associate creative director Mikey Hester told Co.Create the idea came from some personal connections. "We both have friends with premature infants whose stories were just heartbreaking," they wrote in the email. "The mothers said they 'didn’t feel like a mom,' that they 'couldn’t touch or hold their baby for days,' and that they 'felt like they were letting their baby down.' That was just two moms—and there were 15 million premature babies born around the world last year alone. We then found research that showed how a mother’s voice and heartbeat can help provide a preemie with the maternal sounds they need for healthy brain development, we started wondering how Samsung technology could help connect mother and child."

Agency executive creative director Dan Chodrow says that solving a human challenge with Samsung's technology is a marketing win-win. "We always work with Samsung to do three things—make products and services that people need, demonstrate their application and impact on the world, and spur conversation around that impact," says Chodrow. "This approach creates real value for people and correspondingly results in marketing that is more relevant to them."

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