Welcome to the ear canal!

Press Release /

A small Hearable in the ear is intended to combine various technologies of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg. In areas where hearing protection is worn anyway, it also offers an AI platform for intelligible communication, voice control and speech-based documentation, as well as acoustic monitoring for quality control. The institute will present its technologies at the digital Hannover Messe - in an expert talk on April 13 and in individual meetings.

© Fraunhofer IDMT/Hannes Kalter
Dr. Jan Rennies-Hochmuth, Head of Personalized Hearing Systems, welcomes you to the #HM 2021 Digital Edition stream from the hearing lab and demonstrates the functionalities of the Hearable for the smart industrial workplace.
© Fraunhofer IDMT
A Hearable as an AI platform for intelligible communication, voice control and documentation, and acoustic quality control. For this purpose, the researchers at Fraunhofer IDMT work with the "Transparent Earpiece", which was developed in the »Hearing4all« Cluster of Excellence together with the company InEar.

The Hearable for the smart industrial workplace aims to improve collaboration between people and machines - a big task for a small in-ear device. On April 13, 2021, as part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's All-Day Stream at Hannover Messe Digital Edition, Dr. Jan Rennies-Hochmuth will take interested participants into his hearing lab. He is Head of Personalized Hearing Systems at the Fraunhofer IDMT, Division Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology in Oldenburg. The individual functionalities of the smart in-ear solution are presented with the help of application-related scenarios and demonstrations. Visitors hear through the Hearable in the ear of an artificial head and can experience its added value for themselves.

Communication at the noise workplace

A team meeting on the production floor, possibly directly at the machine, is not uncommon. In the Hearable for the smart industrial workplace, the institute's algorithms enable natural speech exchange in noisy environments. Microphones on and in the ear ensure optimal recording of audio and speech signals. »Subsequent optimization using machine learning methods also benefits people with hearing loss. In addition, the intelligent dampening of sounds and highlighting of speech protects hearing and voice and makes communication much easier«, Dr. Rennies-Hochmuth explains.

Voice control and documentation

The AI-based developments mean that noisy environments are no longer an obstacle - not only for team communication but also with machines. Especially the internal microphones in the Hearable have great potential for voice control in industrial environments. The voice recordings in the ear canal in combination with the robust solutions for speech recognition developed in Oldenburg allow machines to be reliably controlled by voice commands even in noisy environments. This also applies to the voice-based documentation of process steps. It saves employees a lot of time, frees their hands for the essentials and can make the workplace safer.

Acoustic event detection

Particularly important to the researchers in Oldenburg is the adaptability of the Hearable to individual customer requirements. In this way, functionalities could be combined with each other depending on the area of application. In the area of quality control, acoustic monitoring of machines and processes can also be integrated - for example, to document the clicking into place of mechanical connections. The fact that all functions can be used without a cloud connection means that they can be used even with the highest data protection and data security requirements. An integration into existing systems is also possible. At Hannover Messe, Dr. Rennies-Hochmuth will also provide insights into potential future applications, such as monitoring vital data at the hazard workplace.


The Division Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT looks forward to seeing you at #HM 2021 Digital Edition.

Find out more in our practice-oriented stream event

»The Hearable for the smart industrial workplace« on 13 April 2021, 18:30h

or arrange a meeting. Here you will find more information and the direct link to our exhibitor page.

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