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Smart Headphones Alert Pedestrians of Cars
Alerts of Potential Collisions With Cars for Pedestrian Wearers
Source: Columbia University
Columbia University Invention Designed to Prevent Accidents
A breakthrough set of intelligent headphones is able to detect and analyze ambient sounds around the wearer and warn of an approaching vehicle that could pose a danger. The smart headphones send the wearer a sound alert to be aware and avoid what's coming at them. This is an invention from a team at Columbia University that could save many lives.
Millions of pedestrians are using headphones and "twalking". We see them every day with their faces glued to their phones, oblivious to their surroundings as they walk and talk along the streets. It's very dangerous behavior. The number of fatalities and injuries caused by "twalking" have tripled in the US in the past 7 years. Last year, pedestrian deaths hit their highest level since 1990.
New Audio-Alert System for Pedestrians
The headphones are inexpensive, require low power and create an audio-alert mechanism for pedestrians that's breakthrough innovation. They're in prototype form but are being tested in the streets around Columbia University. Once refined to the specifications of the inventors, they will be commercialized. In fact, the Columbia team is looking to start a company for the invention.
The headphones work by an array of miniature microphones that detect ambient sound near the wearer. The sound data is analyzed by intelligent signal processing in a companion app that uses machine learning to detect oncoming vehicles that could hit the wearer. That analysis triggers an alarm to alert the wearer in time to avoid an accident.
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