Echo location. Two very common words among those of us who rely on our ears to get around. In fact, one particularly ambitious individual created an entire technique and class devoted to the idea. There are even devices which attempt to capitalize on sound in order to provide cane travellers with more detailed information about objects, such as overhead obstacles, ledges, and that sort of thing. But what if, given the right technology, we could take echo location even further and expand our ears, so to speak.
Introducing the Jabra 3D Audio Intelligent Headset. Jabra is well known for making quality audio devices and headsets, and they have decided to step up their game. According to a recent report, this headset utilizes several hardware and software components, including built-in intelligent software, an app for mobile devices, 3D audio technology, sensors and location detection, to create a highly accurate auditory environment. While the capabilities of this headset are still being tested and explored, it is speculated that this technology can be used to assist the blind and visually impaired on travel routes and exploratory navigation through an app called Cities Unlocked. This technology is able to not only pick up ambient sounds in the user’s immediate surroundings, but can provide audible guidance to any destination by capitalizing on the GPS software of the user’s smartphone. One way in which a blind or visually impaired person might use this app is to get audible directions to a favorite restaurant or entertainment spot. The user can gain additional information about the surrounding area while walking, and location sensors and direction-sensitive positioning sensors allow the user to hear, in 3D audio, precise positioning with accurate sounds on all sides. While wearing the headsets, it might be possible for the user to receive cues faster and with fewer errors than if they needed to rely on several pieces of equipment for the same information.
While this technology has some major advantages and can prove to be an extremely useful tool, there can also be some potentially dangerous downsides. Firstly, the user must be wearing the headset in order to receive the auditory cues. This means that the ears are obscured by the device, and while sounds may be electronically fed back to the user, there may also be subtle cues that the user might miss. A passing pedestrian, an idle car, and so on. While such close feedback can prove quite helpful on bus, train or car trips, or exploratory route planning might prove useful, walking with these devices could be quite distracting, especially in a larger, more busy urban environment. This level of distraction could be similar to that experienced by drivers who have to focus on their devices while attempting to navigate a vehicle.
Technological advances have made many tasks far easier for those who are blot visually impaired. Computers have gotten more compact and much quicker, phones have gotten smarter, artificial intelligence is becoming a reality, and audio is becoming clearer and more accurate, and the precision of location accuracy is becoming even better. people are becoming more adept at using such technology in order to keep up with the fast paced changes. The Jabra 3D Intelligent Headset may yet be the latest innovation in 3D audio technology, and it could prove to be highly effective in every day travel. Currently, Jabra has only released a developer version of this product which is said to cost $420. Since the product is still in the early stages of development the company is hoping that they can gain insight into how it could be used by providing developers with test products. Hopefully, as this product becomes more widely researched, and Jabra continues to develop the platform, a greater understanding of its uses and potential can be gained. This is an exciting product with amazing potential. Travel will become less of a chore, and more of a game, as the technology in Cities Unlocked, and the Jabra 3D Intelligent Headset makes it exciting and entertaining.