A home automation based environmental sound alert for people experiencing hearing loss

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug;2016:5348-5351. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591935.


Different assistive technologies are available for deaf people (i.e. deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing). Besides the well-known hearing aid, devices for detection of sound events that occur at home or at work (e.g. doorbell, telephone) are available. Despite the technological progress in the last years and resulting new possibilities, the basic functions and concepts of such devices have not changed. The user still needs special assistive technology that is bound to the home or work environment. In this contribution a new concept for awareness of events in buildings is presented. In contrast to state-of-the-art assistive devices, it makes use of modern Information and Communication and home automation technology, and thus offers the prospect of cheap implementation and higher comfort for the user. In this concept events are indicated by notifications that are send over a Bluetooth Low Energy mesh network from a source to the user. The notifications are received by the user's smartwatch and the event is indicated by vibration and an icon representing its source.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Automation
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments*
  • Self-Help Devices*
  • Smartphone
  • Sound
  • Telephone