An array of seven microphones, mounted on the frame of the glasses, pinpoints the location of such sounds and relays that directional information to the wearer through a set of LEDs embedded inside the frame.
The glasses will only flash alerts on sounds louder than a threshold level, which is defined by the wearer.
But there is one problem; it requires the user to carry a laptop around in a backpack to process the signal.
However, lead researcher Yang-Hann Kim stresses that the device is a first iteration that will be miniaturised over the next few years.
The KAIST team presented its work last week at the InterNoise conference in New York City.