Audio Analytic and Bragi are partnering to develop cloudless artificial intelligence sound recognition technology for a category of products called “hearables”, which can include wireless earphones.
The companies say the product is the “world’s first audio context-aware earphones”, and will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES.
Systems which can pick up sound more clearly and distinguish between different sounds are likely to become increasingly important in many markets, including robotics, especially as more and more humanoids are being sold.
The software for natural language processing is being improved all the time, and would be much helped by hardware components which could make voices much clearer.
Audio Analytic regards itself as a pioneer in sound recognition software.
The company has agreed a partnership with Bragi to collaborate on incorporating sound recognition capabilities into Bragi devices.
The companies say they share a vision of how embeddable intelligent sound recognition can bring new levels of usability, convenience and safety to earphone users.
At January’s Consumer Electronics Show 2018 Audio Analytic, will use their conversation detection demonstration, developed with Bragi, to illustrate how sound recognition can help consumers “seamlessly move between a rich audio experience and spontaneous interactions with their friends and important events around them”.
Bragi is a pioneer in the smart hearables category. The company manufactures wireless earphones with sensors and intelligence that enable features including real-time translation, fitness tracking, music, and gesture controls.
The Dash Pro earphones, launched this year, are Bragi’s latest model.
Audio Analytic has developed technology that enables devices to detect and recognize a range of audio events and scenes in their environment, so that the devices can respond intelligently.
This sound recognition software is embedded on the device, not cloud based, so can rapidly and definitively identify sounds without internet connectivity.
Audio Analytic and Bragi have been collaborating to explore how sound recognition can add audio-based context awareness to make hearables fit into their users’ active lifestyles by adding further hands-free interaction to Bragi’s already inventive user interface, so that wearers don’t break their focus.
The CES demonstration will show how Audio Analytic’s ai3 sound recognition software and Bragi’s wireless Dash Pro earphones work to intelligently recognize that a conversation is under way and respond by automatically altering the volume and external sound transparency.
By only altering the music when the wearer sparks up a conversation with a running buddy or friend, the earphones help the wearer stay in whatever state of mind they are in, whether that is aiming for a new personal best on the bike or a chilled-out morning commute.
Beyond conversation detection there are many other applications in the hearables space.
For example, knowing, via the surrounding acoustic scene, whether a runner is on an urban street or a country road could enable earphones to respond to hearing an approaching emergency vehicle by adjusting transparency settings to improve situational awareness.
Having proven the concept of enhancing hearables with artificial audio intelligence the two companies are continuing to explore other scenarios where identifying audio scenes or certain events can help customers seamlessly enjoy their music and activities whilst understanding the context that surrounds them.
Using this AI technology in hearables can reduce the need for touch controls, making the technology more intuitive and integrated with people and their lifestyles.
Dr Chris Mitchell, Audio Analytic’s founder and CEO said: “As you’d expect from an innovator in the hearables market, Bragi have been really open to the idea of exploring how sound recognition could enhance their products.
“Sound recognition is in many of 2018’s smart home devices but we see opportunities across a wide range of markets.
“Anywhere sounds either get in the way, are important or need enhancing, our technology adds considerable value.
“For us, the next logical step beyond smart homes is the fast-paced hearables market where audio experiences are fundamental, there is rapid development of new capabilities and where not needing a tether to the cloud is an advantage. I am delighted to be working with Bragi as they grow this market.”
Darko Dragicevic, EVP partners and solutions, Bragi, says: “Since we started out we’ve always been about delivering first-rate experiences for customers and thanks to our SDK and platform approach it was a no brainer for Audio Analytic to use the Dash to test some new ideas and identify the opportunities to apply sound recognition to hearables with Bragi.”