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CES AppDate: Smartphones help the hearing impaired

In this special CES 2020 app roundup, SEAN BACHER highlights HeardThat, the updated Google Assistant, Apple’s HomeKit, StayTouch and Dark Sky.




Singular Hearing has unveiled the HeardThat AI app at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. HeardThat turns a smartphone into a hearing assistant, helping to tune out background noise to enable individuals with hearing loss to hear speech more clearly, allowing them to engage in conversations they would otherwise have trouble hearing.

“Often the first step in helping people with a hearing problem is an in-ear hearing aid,” said Singular Hearing Founder and CEO, Bruce Sharpe. “However, the weakness of even the most sophisticated hearing aids is the challenge of separating speech from background noise. Hearing aids tend to amplify all sound, making it difficult to have one-on-one or group conversations in a noisy environment.” 

HeardThat uses advanced machine learning algorithms to separate speech from noise. According to the company, it listens to the noisy environment and delivers “de-noised” speech to the individual’s bluetooth-enabled hearing aid or other listening devices via their smartphone.

Machine learning algorithms require too much processing power to run on hearing aids or other small devices. By leveraging the smartphone, the app is freed from hardware constraints. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Singular Hearing has not yet released a price.

Stockists: HeardThat will be available for download from Singular Hearing’s website in the first quarter of the year. 

Read more about the upgraded Google Assistant, Apple’s take on smart homes, an app that makes sharing contacts easier, and a weather app that’s extremely accurate.

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