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Tech Gives Sound Directionality to Hearing Aids


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The new device is primarily designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

While users in this study reported a notable difference in their ability to hear and determine the direction of those sounds, unfortunately many of them said they would still be hesitant to use the device.

Credit: iStock

Researchers at Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University have developed a hearing aid system with sound directionality.

The device features a dual-layer microphone array for the user's ears, and a wearable device worn around the neck comprised of a camera with computer vision AI.

An algorithm helps predict a sound's origin, either by identifying faces in the scene or based on the angle and time of arrival.

The device achieved an accuracy rate of 94% or higher in identifying a sound's source at distances of 160 cm (a little more than five feet) or less, and more than 90% for sounds detected by the microphones but out of range of the wearable device.

From IEEE Spectrum
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