Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) has researched new AR glasses that can augment the hearing superpowers. Yes, you heard it right! Augmented Reality induced glasses that you can wear will amplify your hearing. Perceptual Super-powers! That’s how the Facebook team brings in the concept that sees the skies for the very first time.
This Augmented Reality driven glasses can track what you are trying to hear and amplify it. Additionally, it dampens the background noise. Incorporated with contiguous audio features, the AR device spawns the aural correspondent of a hologram overlay into the connected pair of glasses.
The underlined technology seems to be on the same page as the existing hearing aid features. A hearing aid does implement the same voice amplifying and background noise reducing aspect. But Facebook’s AR glasses provide a special and unique probability for all people, immaterial of the hearing impairments. These glasses plan to combine improved hearing in clamorous environments as well as seamlessly infusing digital and natural audio.
Directional sensors on AR glassed backed with the outward-facing cameras are intended to collect precise contingent information. This information supposedly includes the orientation of the body parts directed at the angle of your eye’s vision.
The information thus scrutinized aids the earpieces to identify an “acoustic spotlight” that it further amplifies. For the best experience, the soundscape of the AR system is added to the amplified audio.
The technology is brought into reality with an array of microphones that are imbibed in the frame of the glasses that pitch in the voice of individuals as they speak. The glasses, like the hearing aid, could then diagnose the source of the sound you’re trying to hear. Supported with a combination of hardware and software solutions, the device then isolates the audio from background noise. The output is distinguishingly a perfect aid that you might never achieve with a hearing aid!
While it’s not a completely new project of Facebook, the technology appears to be novel on its own. Since 2014, when Facebook first bought Oculus, the VR powerhouse, it has been working on creating immersive audio experiences.
Since immersive audio is always considered cool for gaming, importing it into the augmented reality glasses domain could greatly expand its usefulness for the people, who wear it in the real world.
Complementing the AR glasses with AI makes the glasses more powerful and guide to better control over the distinction between the actual voice and the background noise. The AR glasses apparently have an in-built camera, which they could adapt to analyze a scene in real-time and track the user’s vision. This helps the glasses to define the location of focus for the microphones.
Human ears typically function in a peculiar fashion. It is believed that sound hits one of the ears before it reached the other. Moreover, the first ear is capable of hearing a slightly higher volume. Facebook is using these slight significant differences to manipulate the brain, thereby the ears. AI induced in the glasses actively figures out whether the attention should stay where it is or if it should shift using variables like your head and eye movement.
Improvising on hearing is not the only thing that Facebook is trying to achieve with this new technology. While the research could bolster the hearing capacity, “audio presence” technology is something that could also be pursued in parallel.
Audio presence is another concept that Facebook has been working on for quite some time. Facebook, however, aims to make audio so convincing that a person it will be difficult to distinguish the real-world sounds from the device’s audio.
The normal surrounding or rooms that we are in greatly affects the sounds we hear. The parameters like ceiling height, floor finishings, wall-to-wall distance intervene in the audio around us. To suppress these variables, the company is currently said to be developing the technology in massive rooms called anechoic chambers. These chambers presumably absorb every bit of deviating noise within the jagged foam padding lining.
Though Facebook has been all the time very upfront and open to the fact that it is working on the AR technology, we have to wait and see all the other technologies that would come out with this advanced glasses.