Google is introducing acoustic event detection with the latest firmware update for its Pixel Bud earbud. If the earbuds pick up the sound of a crying baby, a siren, or a barking dog, the Attention Alert system will interrupt whatever the user happens to be listening to with a chime to let them know that something is happening that may require a response. Attention Alert will also lower the volume of the music or the podcast when it plays the chime.
The feature is designed to make sure that people do not miss important events while listening to loud music. Google indicated that Attention Alert is still in an experimental phase, and that the AI was trained with audio pulled from publically available videos.
Some of the other features arriving with the new firmware update include improved Find My Device and Google Translate utilities. The former will show the user the last known location of their Pixel Buds in the event that they are lost are stolen. Google Translate, meanwhile, will allow wearers to use a voice command to activate the Transcribe function, which can currently translate French, German, Italian, and Spanish into English. Transcribe can passively field up to two hours of audio, but may not be as useful for back-and-forth conversations.
Wearers can also use voice commands to turn off the Pixel Buds’ touch control, and to check the battery levels of each device. The voice commands and Attention Alert system are enabled with microphones located on the exterior of both earbuds. The buds themselves will know if they are being shared with another person with the latest update.
ID R&D released a similar event detection solution in 2019, and later delivered it to Wavio to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, the ID R&D system is slightly more robust, and can pick up events like breaking glass and gunshots in addition to crying babies.
Source: Venture Beat