Sep
13
Bringing Sound Amplifier to life across billions of Android users


DIANA OMIGIE:
Sounds are basically just vibrating molecules. These vibrations travel
through the air, the bones and the fluid of our ear,
before getting converted into signals that can be
processed and interpreted by our brains. A key step in the
process of hearing involves so-called
hair cells firing when the bits of membrane that
they’re attached to vibrates. People with hearing loss
have a reduced number of these hair cells, which
makes it more difficult for them to extract information they care
about from background noises. To solve this,
what we want to do is amplify those sounds
that are important so that the remaining undamaged
hair cells can do a better job. VINT CERF: The
Sound Amplifier app has taken thousands of samples
of sound and blended those together using machine learning
to figure out what the best way is to present
sound to someone who has a hearing impairment– [INDISTINCT CHATTER] –with very, very
simple controls. SPEAKER 1: Yeah, I
can hear you now. SPEAKER 2: Yeah, so I think
you should come next year. VINT CERF: I have been wearing
hearing aids since I was 13. The world is a world of sound. Our interactions as human
beings are very deeply dependent on our ability to
have conversations. And without access to sound,
it’s very hard to do that. But if you think
for just a moment about the several
billion people who have smartphones running
Android, all of those people could run Sound Amplifier. So in a sense, this
is a wonderful way of distributing capability
to billions of people. [MUSIC PLAYING]