Google: Android feature for hearing impaired

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Android phones will now be able to notify their users when they detect certain sounds. With this new Android feature called Sound Notifications, it is aimed to help those who have hearing problems and the deaf.

When this feature is activated, Android phones will be able to alert users of certain sounds by sending notifications, turning on the flash light or flickering. Wear OS devices will also be able to notify users of the sounds around them by sending vibrating and written notifications.

Google underlines that the Voice Notifications feature works entirely on the device.

According to the information provided by Google, Voice Notifications can currently listen to 10 different sounds. These voices are listed as follows:

  • Smoke and fire alarms
  • Sirens
  • Do not scream
  • Baby sounds
  • Door bell
  • Door clicking
  • Dog’s barking
  • Warning sounds of household items
  • The sound of running water
  • Home phone bell

Voice Notifications are already available on Google’s Pixel phones and on some “selected” Android phones. To activate this feature, it is necessary to go to the phone’s Accessibility menu. It is possible to access this feature through Google’s Live Transcribe application.

Google added a similar experimental feature to its Pixel Buds headset in August before introducing the Sound Notifications feature for Android. Pixel Buds’ Attention Alerts also automatically mute the headphones when sounds such as baby cry, dog barking or siren are heard.


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