The Babelfisk glasses are going to revolutionize hearing aid technology.
Designed by Mads Hindhede, these unique glasses incorporate built-in speech recognition software. Conversations are captured on microphones and converted from sound to text. With projectors in the lenses and embedded speech recognition software, words are converted into speech bubbles. To minimize the interference of other conversations, there is a noise filtering feature. These glasses also have a micro USB port for updating software.
While the glasses themselves are not necessarily inconspicuous, the idea to develop technology that moves away from the conventional hearing aid design progresses. Developers like Mads Hindhede are doing extensive research that hopefully leads to less bulky and obvious devices for the impaired, specifically a visible unit that doesn’t have to be worn in the ear.
Utilizing directional microphones has long been a strategy for better hearing. For a long time, a hearing aid picked up sound from all directions, often making it difficult to distinguish them. The latest directional tech came typically with two microphones, allowing users to focus one mile toward a primary source with a second mile attempting to decrease background noise.
Sound-to-text is only the latest attempt at creating better devices for the hearing impaired. Future designs will redefine a manufacturer’s approach to listening demands, hearing loss and, most importantly, individual preferences. Like choosing the features of a pair of eyeglasses, the hearing impaired may one day be able to fine tune the features of hearing aids to their lifestyle and comfort level.