Smart acoustic sensor systems for your products and processes

Smart hardware that is easy to integrate 

The Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA of Fraunhofer IDMT develops hardware and software for recording and processing acoustic data in both cabled and wireless networks for all sectors.

The systems are assembled so that they meet the requirements of the respective market and of customer-specific applications. This begins with the selection of suitable sensor elements, computing platforms, housing, power supply and communication capacities and continues in the area of software. Corresponding processes are deployed depending on the application, e. g. signal preprocessing, noise cancellation, localisation of sound sources or data reduction. In addition, modern machine learning and artificial intelligence methods as well as classical algorithms are used as software modules for modern service architectures.

The sensor solutions are capable of processing large amounts of data on-premises. This relieves the load on communication channels and at the same time satisfies data protection and privacy requirements.

User group-specific interfaces and gateways for end users and experts round off the sensor systems and make them operable.

Acoustic sensor networks

For complex applications, acoustic sensor networks can be built. Meta-information forwarded from individual smart sensors enable the spatial, temporal and statistical modelling of acoustic events as well as conflation with multimodal information of other types on a central server.

The performance of smart acoustic sensor systems will improve even more in the future through the integration of AI-capable microelectronics. Last but not least, we are constantly improving our systems via research and development projects.

Multimodality is the technology of the future: To better map more complex situations, we are already linking acoustic information with other sensor modalities. The combination of different sensors makes it possible to obtain more comprehensive information.

Industry and manufacturing: Smart acoustic sensors as a contribution to the digitisation of production environments

© Ivan

Smart sensors can be an independent component of manufacturing machinery, identifying faults in advance and optimising processes, such as the detection of pneumatic actuator leakage. Higher operating costs, lower machine efficiency or isolated machine failures can only be linked to a loss of compressed air at a late stage. Consistent monitoring makes machine downtime plannable and less cost-intensive.

Health sector: Smart acoustic sensors for networked health applications

© iStock/gorodenkoff

Researchers at Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg have developed the SensOhr® platform to study smart sensor systems and their use in humans. The main areas of application are scenarios that require monitoring – be it in health applications or in communication. Sounds such as snoring, heartbeat, swallowing or speech can be combined with recordings of (other) vital data such as EEG or oxygen saturation. In this way, SensOhr® can form the basis for recording various biosignals. It is a platform for the sensor-based recording of biosignals close to the ear. The main area of application is in monitoring, for example in healthcare. This includes, for instance, the monitoring of speech or sleep disorders. But it could also be used in nursing care or hospitals, for example to monitor coughing or breathing.

Security: Acoustic sensor systems with security tasks

© Adobe Stock/Ruben

When using smart sensors in the security sector, we focus above all on noise reduction with the help of several microphones, known as microphone arrays, to separate relevant and less relevant sounds. In addition, such setups make it possible to locate sources acoustically and combine them directly with acoustic monitoring. In so doing, we are opening up the possibility to detect and localise drones that infiltrate security areas. By detecting broken glass or spray cans, we can contribute to combating burglaries and vandalism. Directional filtering, also called beamforming, makes it possible to direct the microphone to where it is needed. For example, the beamformer amplifies those audio signals which the user wants and simply blocks out those noise sources that are unwanted, such as other people’s voices.

Automotive: Ears for the car

© Fraunhofer IDMT/Anika Bödecker

The car is learning to hear: In our project “The Hearing Car”, smart sensors help the car to hear. Machine learning methods teach it to recognise sirens, for example. For this purpose, we are applying our cross-group expertise to develop AI algorithms for acoustic event detection or optimal signal capture through sensor positioning, signal preprocessing and enhancement, and noise cancellation.

Fraunhofer IDMT offers robust signal processing methods and a broad portfolio of detector models that can be adapted to different application scenarios.

Our Services

  • Hardware development and prototyping
  • Implementation and improvement of detector algorithms
  • Signal preprocessing for noise reduction in acoustically difficult conditions
  • Integration of algorithms into modern system architectures
  • Application-specific processing of airborne and structure-borne sound
  • Conducting of measurement series
  • Qualitative and quantitative component qualification
  • Sensor system development
  • Evaluation and usability

Further Information


Project KI-MUSIK 4.0

Universal AI Sensor Interface for Industry 4.0

This project is dedicated to the next generation of intelligent, increasingly autonomous manufacturing systems.



We at Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg are making a concrete contribution to AI support for shopfloor management on the basis of automated data processing with intelligent ears for automated and contact-free production control.


Mobile multisensor system for sleep monitoring at home

We are working on a multi-sensor system close to the ear that records sleep behavior comfortably at home.


ACME 4.0 – acoustic condition monitoring

Self-adapting sensor systems for acoustic condition monitoring in Industry 4.0 applications


Contactless health monitoring

The group »Mobile Neurotechnologies« is working on monitoring vital parameters: contactless, hygienic, and easy to set up.


Project IMPASA

Ears for the machine hall

Intelligent acoustic monitoring platforms and sensor networks for use in industrial applications.


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?




Audio System Technology

We can develop audio system solutions for you according to your individual requirements and help you with hardware design, selection of components and algorithms as well as software applications.


Machine listening for smart decisions

With us, you use the acoustic fingerprint of events to make intelligent decisions automatically - for your processes and products.


All solutions at a glance

Here you can find further information about our solutions of the Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA.