We spend our days walking around in a state of distracted bliss. It’s dangerous. Let’s not die, OK? While you’re rocking out with your EarPods in, you’re in danger of failing to heed the hazards of the world around you. A forthcoming app turns your phone’s microphone into a second set of ears to keep you from going splat.
Technology Review reports that New York-based company One Lama will release a safety app called Audio Aware next month. The app uses the company’s proprietary “Audio Intelligence” software to listen to the world around you for a host of template sounds you might want to be aware of like, say, screeching tyres. When a sound matches, the app makes you aware:
When a sufficient match, such as a car horn, is detected, it will cancel any audio you’re hearing and pipe in an amplified version of the sound it’s picking up, or perhaps a cartoon-like version of that sound that is easier to recognise.
There’s definitely a market for apps that make sure you’re not walking around oblivious to the world. Still, Audio Aware is only possible implementation for One Llama’s tech. For example, people with hearing loss or just poor hearing stand to benefit. The company is currently soliciting queries from developers that are building apps or devices that might benefit from being able to intelligently listen to the world. Makes sense that others should be interested — each of us only has so much attention to give. [One Llama via Technology Review]