When confronted with unpleasant or distracting noises, a person usually has two choices — grin and bear it or drown it out with some nice, loud music. Now there’s another option: Here Active Listening from Doppler Labs is a ‘hearable’ system which lets users filter out the sounds they don’t want to hear and enhance the ones they do.
Here is comprised of two wireless ear buds and an app, which enable users to customize their audio interactions with the world around them. The system gives users control over their real-life audio experiences, enabling them to adjust the EQ of live music, reduce unpleasant noises such as office chatter and approaching subway trains or turn down the volume of the world to get a bit of peace and quiet.
To begin, users insert the wireless earbuds and launch the Here app on their smartphone: the two components connect via bluetooth, enabling the wearer to use their device as a remote control. An external-facing mic detects and processes sound as it enters the bud and sends it through a digital signal processor (DSP). The wearer can then adjust the volume and EQ of the sound via the app, which plays back the desired result to the listener with no perceivable latency.
Users can also choose from preset filters and modes — Airplane Mode will turn down specific frequencies associated with the jet engine, the chatter of fellow passengers or a crying baby — and even add audio effects such as reverb or vinyl.
Here is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter where it has surpassed its USD 250,000 goal within a week. How else could audio adjustment enhance people’s experiences?