This Personal Sound Amplifier Will Amplify Your Quality of Life

2020-08-09 | By Orcam Staff

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This Personal Sound Amplifier Will Amplify Your Quality of Life - OrCam

There are a number of ways in which people who are hard of hearing and people who have hearing impairments can benefit from the use of a personal sound amplifier. This is true regardless of their age, job title, the school they are studying in, and which stage of life they are in.

How Can A Personal Sound Amplifier Change a Person’s Life?

A picture of a pair of shoes and a question mark painted on the pavement

When people can’t hear what’s being said around them, or to them, their level of involvement and inclusion in society is decreased. Take a moment to think about how much you rely on information that is relayed to you through speech and sound, and you might be able to imagine the importance of hearing in everyday life.


Even though people who are heard of hearing, and who are still fully sighted can read text, there is no real replacement for the ability to have a verbal conversation. Especially not, when verbal conversations are in many cases, the main form of human interaction that people are already used to throughout their lives.


Once the use of a personal sound amplifier is introduced into the life of someone who is hard of hearing, the number of activities that they can perform independently is immediately increased. In addition, they can finally become a part of any and every social gathering or event that they wish to attend and be an active part of.

This Device Enables A New Level of Independence for People Who Are Hard of Hearing

Close up picture of OrCam Hear, a new personal sound amplifier device.

Two of the biggest challenges that people with a hearing impairment encounter on almost a daily basis, is selective sound cancellation, and selective sound amplification. What this basically means, is that until recently, there was no availability of a personal sound amplification device that can help people hear only what they want or need to hear in an environment with loud background noise.


Before the introduction of OrCam Hear, the average personal sound amplifier was mostly capable of amplifying sound, without any separation between the voices of those in the conversation.


The biggest problem was the fact that whenever there is loud background noise, the background noise would be amplified along with the voices of those talking to the person using the sound amplification device. Thus making it nearly impossible for the end-user to actually hear what people were saying to them.


What this meant for people who are hard of hearing that want to attend events, go shopping, eat out, etc. was that they would hear all of the background noise around them in addition to the conversation that they were actively trying to be a part of.


This scenario is described as the Cocktail Party Effect, and it is something that affects both people who have hearing impairments, and people with perfect hearing. OrCam Hear can help people with all levels of hearing to overcome this problem. As long as they remember to take their device with them, of course.

How Does OrCam Hear Solve The Cocktail Party Effect?

OrCam Hear is a wearable, miniature, and lightweight device that uses the most advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies available today. The device can be worn on a user’s neck and has a pair of earphones that are attached to the device.


There are two types of conversation settings that users can choose from. The first is the single-speaker mode. This mode is to be selected when the user is having a personal one-on-one conversation.


The second is the multiple-speaker mode. This mode is designed for times when the user is engaging in a conversation with multiple people at the same time, otherwise known as a group conversation.


A mini camera at the front of the device monitors the chin, mouth, and lip movements of the people that the user is having a conversation with. OrCam Hear will then cancel out all of the background noise in the room, and it will then act as a sound amplifier, and amplify the sound coming from the people speaking to the user.

OrCam Hear Awarded Best of Innovation at CES 2020

CES Best of Innovation Award is one of the most prestigious and lucrative awards in the global tech industry. A panel of expert judges from around the world, and from a variety of fields including consumer technology, education, media, and others, choose the winner based on product design, technological capabilities, and benefit to the consumer.