Smart Hearing Aids Focus on Person Speaking and Muffle Other Noise

Despite their usual high prices, hearing aids have many imperfections, among them their inability to deal with challenging environments, in particular rooms with predominantly hard surfaces and little or no acoustic designs (acoustic ceiling tiles are pretty much a joke). And hearing tests today are conducting in insulated “closets” so the resulting hearing aid “prescriptions” miss the boat. Fortunately hearing specialists at Stanford University and elsewhere are developing standards based on “Hearing in Noise” or “Sound in Noise” (SIN is easier to remember, no?). And an Israeli company, OrCam, is using artificial intelligence to identify and isolate a person’s voice within a crowd (using lip reading and body gestures) and sending their speech to Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids.

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