Two new apps, CinemaConnect and MobileConnect, are devised for cinema and theatre fans to optimise incidental show dialogue for their hearing needs simply by calibrating the sound levels on their smart phones – even when hearing devices are not worn.
A streaming audio signal transmitted from the movie screen or stage is detected by a user’s phone, with sound relayed via personal earbuds. Bluetooth technology similarly pairs this audio signal to any digital hearing-devices worn by the cinema or theatre-goer.
Specifically, app users can digitally calibrate theatre sounds and pitches to their personal hearing needs by guiding a ‘dot’ on their phone screen up, or down, as necessary.
Future redirections of the app include:
- A separate app that converts an iPhone into a microphone.
- Cordless headphones with customised sound adjustment.
- Hearing assisted telephony products with universal design.
(Source: researchers at the Oldenburg-based Project Group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technolgy IDMT).
Similar products on the market include Jocati’s ListenApp, BioAid, SoundFocus and other amp-app products, with implications for use in education, training and social settings.
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