Uncomfortable with observing others 24 / 7, Roy opted to keep it in the family (with Patel's consent). Not that their lives are totally transparent. An "oops button" allows the couple to delete things they'd rather leave unrecorded. As a further safeguard, the audio transcripts are broken up and sent in random snippets to a group of transcribers, which limits their ability to reconstruct events in the couple's household.
Analysis of this tower of baby babble has only just begun, but Roy has already come to appreciate some of what it would take to extend the project to other volunteers—to, say, help families of kids with communications problems. "If we wanted to either expand the study or help others do similar studies," he says, "we know what ethical questions are important."