Hearing technology researchers play a significant role in ensuring that the hard of hearing also live meaningful and wholesome lives. These researchers combine simple machines and appliances to enhance the hard of hearing’s safety, convenience, and communication ability.

The latest of the tremendous technological advancement is Google’s new Sounds Notification feature for Android. This feature detects ten different ‘critical sounds’ and notifies the users of the sounds’ presence. This feature will go a long way to enhance how the hard of hearing experience life.

How Does it Work?

The feature uses the phone’s inbuilt microphone to detect and record household sounds that may require urgent attention. The phone then uses Google’s Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications to decode the type of sound that has been recorded. It then sends a notification to the user’s screen.  These ten critical sounds include:

  • Dogs Barking
  • Water Running
  • Smoke alarm
  • Baby sounds
  • Appliances beeping
  • Knocks
  • Doorbell sounds
  • Shouts
  • Sirens
  • Landline phones

One can choose how they want to receive the notifications, and they can choose to have the phone beep, flashlight, or vibrate. This new development’s beauty is that the messages are transmitted to the user’s smartphone in real-time.

Users may also connect their mobile phone to their android smartwatches (now Wear OS by Google). This feature enables the user to receive sound notifications, even when they are doing other activities. One could be running, sleeping, or busy with work, and their android watch vibrates with a sound notification. This ensures that users do not miss any sound notification, which is convenient, right?

Apart from the initial installation of Google’s Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications application, the feature does not require a constant internet connection to function. This way, users can still depend on sound notifications to know what is happening around them even when their Wi-Fi is off or out of range.

Another splendid feature of sound notification is that it gives a history of critical sounds, details of how long the sounds occurred, and how frequently. This feature allows users to have an informed guess of why a particular sound occurred. For example, take a case where someone is baking, and they miss the baking appliance sound, and the pastry burns and produces smoke, which in turn triggers the fire alarm. In this case, the user will quickly tell the fire alarm’s cause is the pastry; on his sound’s timeline, they can see the cooking appliance sound notification preceding the fire alarm.

How Do I Get This Feature on My Phone?

You first need a phone with Android 5.0 (Lollipop and above), which is the minimum requirement to install Google’s Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications. The next step after you have Google’s Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications is to activate sound notifications on your phone’s settings.

For further insights about how to link up your hearing aids to your smartphone, contact our team, and we shall be glad to be part of your beautiful story.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Kevin Liebe Au.D., FAAA, Audiologist

Kevin Liebe Au.D., FAAA, Audiologist

Dr. Liebe has experience practicing audiology in a variety of settings, including private practice, ears, nose, and throat clinics, and industry. He holds a bachelor’s in speech and hearing sciences from Washington State University and a doctorate in audiology from Western Michigan University. Dr. Liebe is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and is a past president and board member of the Washington State Academy of Audiology.