A pair of glasses can now alert deaf people about loud noises – like the honk of a car horn.
Developed by a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, the glasses allows the wearer to “see” when a loud sound is made, and gives an indication of where it came from, New Scientist reported.
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.