Computer Hearing

Using machine learning methods such as neural networks, the Fraunhofer researchers work on teaching computers the complex skill of hearing. Audio signal processing is modelled here on human hearing processes.

Acoustic Monitoring

Computer-based methods for acoustic event recognition are developed at the Fraunhofer IDMT – from recognition of individual acoustic events through to analysis of complex scenarios. One application area is inpatient or home care: potentially dangerous situations such as breaking glass, frequent coughing or calls for help are acoustically recognised. As part of corresponding research projects, scientists investigate the potential solutions and methods that will allow use of acoustic data in networked buildings and cities for applications in the fields of security, traffic management and energy efficiency. Abnormal operating noises can also be detected acoustically, e.g. in vehicles, in status monitoring of machines or for acoustic end-of-line checks in industrial production.

Range of Services

  • Computer-based detection of defined events as well as complex scenarios
  • Development of application- and customer-specific recogniser technologies
  • Microphoning
  • Embedding signal processing in hardware systems (microprocessor and DSP) and in sensor networks
  • Integration of signal processing in mobile applications (apps)

Products and Solutions



An intelligent sound monitor for care homes

In addition to the usual display of the light call in the duty room, SonicSentinel also displays additional information about the type of emergency. This optimizes the reaction times of the care staff and improves care quality.


Press Release / 9.12.2013

App recognizes type of cough by sound

Fraunhofer IDMT develops acoustic cough recognition for Boehringer Ingelheim



Press Release / 14.6.2016

Industry 4.0 Learns How to Hear

In the joint project ACME 4.0, partners from industry and research will investigate the potential of acoustically monitoring machines and production processes.


Acoustic Monitoring in Smart Cities

Insight into Our Research

How can acoustic data be collected in networked buildings and cities and used for applications in the areas of energy efficiency, security and transport?




How Computers Learn to Hear

Insight into Our Research

In order to teach computers to hear, scientists from the Division Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT work together with scientists conducting fundamental research at the University of Oldenburg to develop computer models that simulate the human sense of hearing.

Interview with Dr. Stefan Goetze