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Smart Headphones To Protect Users Against Accidents When Walking

Many of us probably don’t realize the fact that headphones could be harmful. Even if we don’t walk around with our eyes glued to our smartphones, we also wear headphones, which could put us in odd situations, even dangerous ones. For example, we could risk not hearing an approaching car or another way of public transportation. With those said, some researchers are thinking at a way of warning headphone users when something potentially dangerous is approaching.

There are, however, some existing systems developed, microphone-equipped devices that silence third-party headphones in case of loud noises detection. But imagine a busy street or traffic jam, these things could affect the functionality of devices mentioned above, becoming less effective. Moreover, by the time a person noticed that their music had been silenced, it might be too late for them to act somehow, avoiding an accident. Such a fact made researchers seek other ways of developing some smart headphones.

These smart headphones protect the wearers against accidents when walking

Researchers from Columbia University’s Data Science Institute are developing smart headphones, in a great collaboration with the University of North Carolina, and New York’s Barnard College. The recent model includes many small microphones that sense sound in all directions close to the user. They are also emitting the audio details to a learning-based app on the user’s smartphone.

Moreover, the app will be capable of comparing all of the current sounds to those that it’s been “trained” on, recognizing any that are associated with fast-approaching vehicles. Also, when such sounds are identified, it will send an alert to the user with a different audio alarm that’s specifically made to get their attention in a so-busy situation. The system reportedly utilizes a little percent of the smartphone’s battery, and it shouldn’t cost a lot to manufacture it. Currently, some tests are running, both in the lab and on some streets of New York City.



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