How AR Can Augment Your Hearing Ability
Posted By : Abhinav Srivastava | 05-Jan-2021
Augmented Reality Applications are setting new benchmarks in the modern world.
The immense potential of augmented reality (AR) has a radical influence on human lives. It transforms the way we perform daily activities and our connectivity with the world. Since sound plays a vital role in keeping people connected, Facebook Reality Labs researched how AR can assist hearing-impaired populations. As an augmented reality company, we explore the findings of the research paper and put them together.
Understanding The Possibilities With AR
There are 30 million people in the US and 446 million people globally suffering from hearing loss. Due to hearing impairment, people go through the trauma of limited possibilities. They may face problems in socializing and suffer mental fatigue and memory loss. All the behavioral, social, and cognitive impacts of hearing loss have long-term implications on an individual. They may face problems in coping with complex acoustic environments.
Although we have a few technologies to aid the hearing ability of people with hearing loss, they still lack in selectively isolating and amplifying sounds of interest. To fill the gap, we have augmented reality technology. Using this, we can superimpose virtual stimuli on the real-world and interact with them. If we talk about virtual stimuli, it can either be digital objects placed in real-world environments or digital representations of persons at a distance and communicating with us via telepresence.
As listeners may face trouble in areas of complex acoustics such as a loud restaurant or pub or a moving vehicle, Augmented reality may come to their rescue.
How Facebook Experimented With AR?
Engineers and researchers at Facebook are using a mix of beamforming, deep learning techniques, active noise cancellation, and contextual awareness to bring AR into the picture. With AR, we can arrive at a system that focuses on enhancing the source’s sound we want to hear and cut the background noise to let us follow the sound. People using a hearing aid can receive signals processed through AR to have a unique hearing experience. Augmented reality can even let people turn up the volume of the source they want to hear for a seamless conversation.
AR platforms can augment the current hearing capabilities of individuals facing hearing loss with its applications. Such as we also have AR glasses that can help people in troublesome hearing situations with real-time text-to-speech captioning in the glasses. With continuous innovation on the heels, AR can surely live up to the expectations of people.
Solving Hearing Problems Through AR
As we are in a fast-paced world, socializing is a way of life. Most people, owing to their hearing problems, find it difficult to adjust to highly-acoustic environments. While many of them can use hearing aids, a majority avoids them due to social stigma. To neutralize this concern, we have AR glasses that introduce a socially acceptable form factor. AR glasses connect to the cloud, i.e., an AR platform, and connect to a pair of hearing aids to become a communication platform. Also, people will welcome this platform as it reduces self-stigmatization.
AR also gives way to AR hearing-enhancing devices by providing an ideal framework for supporting hearing aids. These devices provide a definite set of capabilities to make them ideal for listeners under any circumstances.
The developments are in the nascent stage, but the future seems bright for augmented reality applications. Transforming the way people communicate with each other with a focus on listening can be a life-changing experience for a few. The research team at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) are proudly working on achieving this.
Augmented reality is a transformative technology and has a lot to offer. When put to use, it is capable of unlocking immense opportunities in every part of human lives. We keep researching and keep collecting the recent developments in this emerging technology segment that is already reshaping our future.
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