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Sound processor app for people with hearing problems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000219421D
Publication Date: 2012-Jun-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

KOK, Chris: INVENTOR

Abstract

The sound processing software would be used by listening devices such as MP3s and PDAs. It would amplify sound for the hard of hearing who would rather not wear a hearing aid, and could use an external mono, or stereo microphone. The sound processor would provide a superior sound using preset equalizers with optional noise reduction. It would use rendering techniques such as spatial sound rendering and/or voice live chat sound processing. Using psychoacoustic-based algorithms, the sound processor app could specifically improve sound perception, helping the hearing impaired. It is also possible that a specific protocol could be used to transport the signal via WiFi/Bluetooth.

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Invention

Sound processor app for people with hearing problems

Abstract

The sound processing software would be used by listening devices such as MP3s and PDAs. It would amplify sound for the hard of hearing who would rather not wear a hearing aid, and could use an external mono, or stereo microphone. The sound processor would provide a superior sound using preset equalizers with optional noise reduction. It would use rendering techniques such as spatial sound rendering and/or voice live chat sound processing. Using psychoacoustic-based algorithms, the sound processor app could specifically improve sound perception, helping the hearing impaired. It is also possible that a specific protocol could be used to transport the signal via WiFi/Bluetooth.

Background

This idea attempts to redress the issue for people with partial hearing loss who do not necessarily wish to wear a hearing aid. This is primarily due to the market not catering to sufferers with minor hearing problems, or because their health insurance will not cover the costs. Using modern devices already on the market, a user would be able to transform certain devices into sound amplifiers.

Sound processing technologies would be at the heart of the idea. Utilizing the latest research from spatial rendering and psycho acoustic algorithms, the invention could dramatically improve clarity of the audio scene and sound perception.

Hearing is not a purely mechanical phenomenon, but is also a sensory and perceptual event. When a person hears something, that something arrives at the ear as a mechanical sound wave travelling through the air. However, within the ear it is transformed into neural action potentials. These nerve pulses then travel to the brain where they are perceived. Hence, with many problems in acoustics, such as for audio processing, it is advantageous to take into account not just the mechanics of the environment, but also the fact that both the ear and the brain are involved in a person’s listening experience. The inner ear, for example, does significant signal processing in converting sound waveforms into neural stimuli, so certain differences between waveforms may be imperceptible. It is with the above understanding that the sound processor app will be built around.
Similar Ideas

Devices nearest to this idea would be Hearing Assisted Technology which is utilized in iPads, tablets, and smart phones. Current devices pick up sound through an internal microphone or external speakers. Sound output is achieved through built in speakers or by connecting earphones or telecoils such as the TecEar Music Link T-coil. The only products that look like this solution are products based on induction loops which can be viewed on the website in...