Fraunhofer Solution Days 2020: The Fraunhofer IDMT presents its technologies for a hearable for use in smart industrial workplaces.

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Wouldn’t it be great if an intelligent button in your ear could protect your hearing from loud ambient noise and at the same time enable crystal-clear communication with people and machines? On the Fraunhofer IDMT’s virtual exhibition stand at the Fraunhofer Solution Days 2020, experts will present their latest developments for a hearable for use in smart industrial workplaces. Participation is free of charge.

© Fraunhofer IDMT/Hannes Kalter
Ready to answer your questions at the Fraunhofer Solution Days together with other experts from the Fraunhofer IDMT: Dr. Jan Rennies-Hochmuth, Head of Personalized Hearing Systems at the Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg.

The virtual expo »Fraunhofer Solution Days« is an online Fraunhofer event from 26 to 29 October 2020. Participants can expect virtual displays and presentations on current technology highlights as well as the opportunity to chat live with Fraunhofer experts. The Fraunhofer IDMT will present a solution that makes communication at industrial workplaces safer, more ergonomic and more efficient. The experts from the Oldenburg division have developed technologies for a hearable that can be individually customized and functions not only as intelligent hearing protection but also enables crystal-clear communication in noisy workplaces. It can also be used for voice control of machines, hands-free documentation tasks or acoustic process monitoring. All this aggregated in a small device in the ear forms the basis for uncomplicated interaction between people and machines as a networked team. The starting block for the Fraunhofer IDMT’s solutions is what is known as the »transparent earpiece«, which was developed at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. The Fraunhofer IDMT is using the acoustically transparent hearing system in an adapted earpiece to develop assistive hearing systems and hearables.

Crystal-clear and safe communication on the shopfloor

With conventional hearing protection solutions, users are obliged to decide between protecting their hearing and talking to colleagues. Thanks to noise selection based on AI, this question no longer arises. The Fraunhofer IDMT is working on technological solutions for hearables that function as hearing protection in loud production environments and at the same time support communication between staff – with the best possible speech intelligibility directly at the machine, but also over longer distances. »Audio and speech signals are optimized through machine learning methods and by placing microphones on and in the ear. Both people with normal hearing as well as those with a hearing impairment benefit from this to an equal degree,« explains Dr. Jan Rennies-Hochmuth, Head of Personalized Hearing Systems at the Fraunhofer IDMT.

A modular platform for smart industrial workplaces

In combination with the Fraunhofer IDMT’s developments in the field of automatic speech recognition and acoustic event detection, innovative possibilities for human-technology interaction can be easily integrated into processes. For example, the hearable can be equipped with individually customizable solutions for voice control of machines and hands-free documentation. A system for monitoring acoustic feedback from machines or processes can also be integrated, e.g. for the reliable and documented clicking into place of mechanical connections.

More detailed information about the hearable for use in smart industrial workplaces can be found on the following web page of the Fraunhofer IDMT:   

Our topics and events at the Fraunhofer Solution Days 2020

On 26.10.2020, the first day of the Fraunhofer Solution Days, you can discuss concrete application scenarios live with our experts. Register free of charge for the Fraunhofer Solution Days and watch the demonstration on the Fraunhofer IDMT’s virtual exhibition stand. See how the hearable for use in smart industrial workplaces can deliver better ergonomics and more safety and efficiency in production. You can find the Fraunhofer IDMT’s exhibition stand under the category »Systems and Mechanical Engineering«.