Augmenting the listening to help
Today, 30 million people in the United States have hearing loss and 446 million people worldwide have hearing loss with disabilities. Hearing impairments can keep people away from social situations and they also take a cognitive toll. People with hearing loss literally have to think harder to cope with complex acoustic environments that can lower memory, cause mental fatigue, and exacerbate social withdrawal.
Today’s hearing aids can personalize amplification for individuals, but even the most advanced and advanced technologies are unable to selectively isolate and amplify sounds of interest. This means that they cannot help the listener deal with everyday situations such as B. a conversation with several people at a loud party or in a restaurant or a moving vehicle. By combining beamforming, deep learning techniques, active noise cancellation and contextual awareness of your surroundings, AR can help us find a system that understands what you want to hear, isolates and enhances the sound source, and reduces background noise. When you send the enhanced AR-processed signal back to the hearing aid, you get the best of both worlds: just turn up the volume for the sounds you want want listen as you adjust to your unique hearing ability – so you can catch a conversation with less effort. The bottom line is that we see AR platforms as an extension of the hearing aid – not a replacement.
Hearing sciences are a rich area that the FRL Research audio team is just exploring, regardless of our main work on perceptual superpowers for the AR glasses of the future – which aims to transform communication for everyone everywhere. The hearing sciences have unique challenges that deserve attention and our team hopes to advance the domain further. We will share more as this exciting work progresses.