Facebook Investigating Augmented Reality Glasses for Enhanced Hearing

Facebook recently announced that they are researching technology that “would be able to recognize different types of events happening around you such as people having conversations, air conditioning noise, dishes and silverware clanking. Using contextualized AI, the augmented reality glasses would be able to make smart decisions, like removing the distracting background noise.

The research involves beamforming, adaptive noise cancellation, and machine learning, and is described by a Facebook spokesperson  as “an area we’re just starting to explore” with the goal of enabling “perceptual superpowers” like “enhanced hearing.” One of the possible paths, according to Facebook,  would use the “pattern of your head and eye movements” to “automatically enhance the sounds you want to hear and dim unwanted background noise.”

Another line of research at Facebook may explore the use of personalizing audio with a head-related transfer function (HRTF) which accounts for the individual shape of your ears, potentially using an “algorithm that can approximate a workable personalized HRTF from something as simple as a photograph of their ears.”

A Facebook representative added “the audio research team is considering several novel approaches to scaling the capture of people’s unique HRTFs.”

The video clip below highlights some of Facebook’s research into ‘Audio Presence’

*featured image courtesy Facebook

1 Comment

  1. I see possible applications in indoor and controlled listening situations. Beyond that, the possibility of impaired hearing functions in the outside world may be the outcome. But the use of s spying device could be a good start for infringing into privacy!

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