Researchers working at the KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) have created a pair of glasses that can potentially help people with hearing disabilities “see” sounds and noises. The glasses are designed to convert sounds into visual alerts while indicating the direction from which the sound is generating. The innovation could help the deaf respond to loud noises like car or bike horns when crossing a street.
The LED glasses comes with seven microphones mounted on the specially designed frame. These mics allow the wearer to identify the direction from which a sound has emerged. The LED screen located inside the frame then converts the audio signal into a visual and flashes the alert for the wearer to see. The LED glasses are also designed to alert the wearer when the sound level around him has risen to above the threshold level of a person with normal hearing ability.
At the moment, the LED glasses only work when they are synced with a laptop for the processing of the audio signal into a visual alert. Researchers, however, claim that the device is still in the early stages of development and can be made user friendly in the years to come. Having the display mounted at the temple of the wearer also limits their field of vision though with development, the technology would potentially be able to flash an alert to the wearer without obstructing their vision.