US scientists introduce brain-controlled hearing aid

May 21, 2019

Hearing loss can prove challenging, especially when trying to make out a particular sound in a noisy/crowded space. Complete hearing loss is usually avoidable, but in the event of hearing difficulties, a new type of hearing aid may ease conversation through brain waves that channel sound while also drowning out background noise.

Researchers from Columbia University, New York, unveiled an experimental device that mimics regular hearing – the device “reads the mind” via sound layering. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to separate the voices of individual speakers in a group, which is compared to active brain waves of the person listening. The voice pattern that most closely matches the listener’s brain waves will then be amplified over the rest.In other words, the system can categorise overlapping sounds and focus only the one that needs to be heard.

The technology is in the early stages of development, but is remarkable because assistive hearing devices were previously unable to filter voices.The development will enable people hard of hearing to better communicate with those around them.


Category: Technology & Devices

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