New technology helps provide better clarity for those with hearing difficulties

by Andrew Roach on January 9, 2013

Despite the advances in technology in recent years, it’s still not particularly easy for those with hearing problems to maintain a phone call.

However, a breakthrough has been made as Plantronic’s Clarity branch and ClearCaptions have joined forces to produce a phone which allows someone to read a conversation as it happens.

The system, known as Ensemble, is a tablet device which displays words on the screen whilst someone is talking with a friend on the phone which is able to amplify the sounds of the speaker.

Ensemble is able to put the words of whoever is speaking on a 7-inch display in real time meanwhile the phone is able to amplify incoming sounds up to 50 decibels louder than the original sound.

As it’s based on tablet technology, the tablet’s display is touch sensitive which the user can use to dial in numbers and make a call at just the click of a button.

The president of Clarity, Carsten Trads, believes that the Ensemble system will be able to fill a void that those with hearing difficulties have needed over the past few years. In a statement, he said that the system can be “can be life changing for millions of people who want to enjoy phone conversations again, reconnect with loved ones or stay engaged in the world.”

Whilst Clarity has handled the development of the phone and tablet system, the live captions will be handled by ClearCaptions who will provide a live caption transcription of a conversation and displaying it on the screen in a large font.

The amplifier on Ensemble is also designed to recognise the difference between loud and soft sounds. Whilst soft sounds will be amplified louder, stronger sounds will be measured and held back to maintain the balance of the volume of the call.

Clarity has also added the ClarityLogic system to help maintain and look after an Ensemble system. It will also mean that if the system were to break, then it can be accessed remotely and adjust the system for the user.

With the Ensemble system now being displayed at CES and released later on this year, it could certainly be the breakthrough that those with hearing difficulties have been looking for to help them overcome their difficulties.

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Written by: Andrew Roach Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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