Google is adding a new feature to its Android phones that will be quite useful for those who are hard of hearing or completely deaf. The feature will notify users about when certain kinds of sounds are heard in the near vicinity.
This new feature is known as “Sound Notifications” and it can notify users in a number of ways about noises. One way is to have the Android send a push notification. Another is to notify a user by having the camera light flash, while there is also the ability to make the phone vibrate when a particular sound is heard.Read More »
These kinds of devices can even go above and beyond what phones can do as they are more closely attached to a person on their wrist. They can be increasingly useful for those as they are sleeping for middle of the night alerts.
These Sound Notifications include ten unique sounds, all of which could be extremely important or even potentially lifesaving. The reason the new function works is the phone’s microphone. The sounds that are able to be detected include:
Smoke & fire alarms
Clearly, this is an attempt by the search leader to bring extremely useful features to those in need during a time that is already quite stressful. It is yet another initiative to help those stuck inside at home during the coronavirus pandemic to have another way of being alerted in time sensitive situations. This is particularly good timing for the company considering that many of the people most tethered to the home are older and those are the people who are most likely to have issues with hearing.
The Sound Notifications are available already on Google Pixel phones and “select other Android phones” according to the company. They are able to be turned on by using the accessibility menu in the phone’s settings. For those who do not have the most up to date Android device, these features can be attained by downloading the Live Transcribe app from the Google Play Store. After the app is installed, simply go to the settings and turn on Sound Notifications.
The Live Transcribe app is also useful because it is able to transcribe audio around it in real time. Live Transcribe has more than 30 sound events with captions and is certainly an app worth installing now for those who have an Android phone.
Another excellent utility to take advantage of with this feature is the “Timeline” view, which helps give users an overall look at a particular period of time and might answer a few questions. The timeline goes back several hours and can help link things together, such as a dog barking that then leads to a baby crying and so forth.
This is more great news for those who might be hard of hearing. In August, Google debuted a new feature that works on Pixel Buds that would lower the volume within the headphones after specific sounds were detected.
This is an extremely useful feature for a wide array of people. According to recent statistics, more than 466 million people around the world have some form or another of hearing loss. The feature is also of great use for those who are dealing with temporary loss of hearing, whether that is because of injury or they are listening to headphones. Anyone listening to loud music can also know if there is an important matter occurring around them with these various alerts.
Google continues to implement useful new features during a tough period for most people. The company recently unveiled a map of COVID-19 hotspots, tweaked their Chrome Web Store, sought to weed out scammers and declutter interfaces, and launched new hardware.
Of course, all of these updates have been a great way for the company to keep competing for attention in the war for customers’ attention. Google is competing with big players like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft for all around access to a person’s ecosystem and day to day life.
Amazon, in particular, will be hard at work this week with the Amazon Prime Day deals. Google will likely counter with several offers in the coming months to get their products out to more customers and get more people to start paying attention to useful new features like Sound Notifications.