Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

iPhone app offers individual hearing support

Date:
November 5, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Transmission losses and background noise can considerably impair speech intelligibility when making calls on a cell phone – particularly for people who suffer from hearing loss. Hearing research scientists have now developed an app for the iPhone that improves speech intelligibility for internet phone calls made using Voice over IP technology. In addition to allowing adjustment of loudness and sound settings to meet individual preferences, the app is also able to compensate for hearing loss.

Auditory VoIP app for iPhone.
Credit: Oldenburg Project Group for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology

Transmission losses and background noise can considerably impair speech intelligibility when making calls on a cell phone -- particularly for people who suffer from hearing loss. Hearing research scientists have now developed an app for the iPhone that improves speech intelligibility for internet phone calls made using Voice over IP technology. In addition to allowing adjustment of loudness and sound settings to meet individual preferences, the app is also able to compensate for hearing loss. The technology was developed by the Oldenburg Project Group for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT.

Individual sound adjustment without a hearing test

In addition to the standard functions of a softphone, the new app "AuditoryVoIP" offers hearing support that can be individually adjusted by the user. A hearing test is not necessary for this. Using a simple user interface, users can choose their preferred sound quality and volume from various default settings. An intelligent signal processing module then optimizes all incoming calls to match this hearing profile. Speech signals that were previously perceived as being too loud, booming, muffled or shrill are reproduced as a uniform sound pattern with improved speech intelligibility. Initial studies show that this allows people with slight to moderate hearing loss to again easily understand telephone conversations.

"The new feature of our technology is that the telephone signal is not optimized to a standard technical value, but to the user's personal hearing preferences. With our solution, it does not matter whether a person with normal hearing has certain sound preferences or whether the user suffers from a medically diagnosed hearing impairment," explains Jan Rennies from the Project Group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology. "However, AuditoryVoIP does not have the functional scope of a hearing aid. The technology is specifically optimized for the frequency range of a telephone signal."

Around 50 million people with untreated hearing loss in Europe

The transition from normal hearing to hearing impairment is seamless. Natural hearing ability already starts to deteriorate from the age of fifty onwards. In Europe, around 50 million people with impaired hearing do not use a hearing aid. In order to address the needs of this group, the Fraunhofer Project Group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology works on developing ways of integrating personalized hearing support in electronic telecommunications and entertainment devices.

"Poor speech intelligibility usually has to be compensated by higher concentration. This mental strain can lead to fatigue and reduced performance at work," says Professor Birger Kollmeier, head of the project group and spokesperson for cluster of excellence "Hearing4all" at the University of Oldenburg, explaining the motivation for development of the technology. "It is also important that the sense of hearing remains in active use -- like with muscles. If the sense of hearing is not stimulated, its ability to function properly decreases. If a person does not use hearing assistance technology for too long when hearing loss starts, they will find it much more difficult later on to get accustomed to and benefit from a hearing aid.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "iPhone app offers individual hearing support." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081232.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2013, November 5). iPhone app offers individual hearing support. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081232.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "iPhone app offers individual hearing support." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081232.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins