Hearing the doorbell, the fire alarm or a tap that has not been properly turned off are everyday situations that can become a problem for a person who is hard of hearing. The Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research has developed a tool to pick up and identify ordinary sounds that are produced in the home environment in order to help the hearing impaired. It is a mobile phone app designed to assist people who have limitations of this type in their daily lives.
All the users have to do is download the app onto their Smartphones, which will inform or alert them in real time about the various sounds that are produced around them. The first version of the app is available free of charge at Google Play under the name MyEardroid. Being portable, its advantages are that it is available anywhere at any time and does not depend on fixed installations. What is more, it can be personalised and each user can select the sounds that are relevant to him/her. The alert is made by means of vibration, text or image.
The app could benefit anyone who is severely or deeply hearing impaired by supporting them in the home, in a hotel room, at work or anywhere indoors. What is more, it will also benefit the people around them as these alerts will give them peace of mind.
After launching this APP, Tecnalia is aiming to go on adding new sounds and to identify other milieu in which the app could offer its users advantages.
Tecnalia is committed to one of the big future challenges: to improve people's life quality, and one of its aims is to achieve this in the sphere of ageing and disability. So by applying new technologies, the research centre is developing new support products and services that allow people with special needs and their carers to access information and services as well as to carry out their daily activities as independently as possible in order to improve their quality of life.
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