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Awareness system for headphone users

Kay, JW and Fazenda, BM 2013, 'Awareness system for headphone users' , Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, 35 (2) .

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Abstract

Hearing is arguably one of the most important senses in providing situational awareness and maintaining personal safety. There has been recently a marked increase of headphone use in public environments where, arguably, one’s safety might be jeopardized by the occlusion and masking caused by listening to music over headphones. The Journal of Injury Prevention published an article on this issue demonstrating a clear association between the increasing ownership of portable media devices with headphones and pedestrian injuries from 2004 to 20111. Some research has been devoted to this problem and a number of applications have been developed in an attempt to ameliorate the use of headphones in urban environment2,3,4,5,6. The aim of this project is to create a system that increases the auditory awareness of headphone users to their surrounding environment, whilst listening to music. The principle of operation uses the built in microphone on smartphones to capture the surrounding environment and perform an analysis to detect target audio events. The audio event detection developed here targets vehicle horns and household smoke alarms. Once the presence of one of these events is detected by the acoustical monitoring device, the external audio is passed through to the headphones in an attempt to increase the auditory awareness of the user. Audio event detection is achieved with a machine learning algorithm based on neural networks that has been trained to detect the specific sound events.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC)
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics
Refereed: Yes
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: BM Fazenda
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:32
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 00:23
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/32839

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