Multimicrophone Adaptive Array Augmented with Visual Cueing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44DC011468-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44DC011468
Amount: $1,081,847.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA11-096
Small Business Information
DUNS: 927303412
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (763) 515-5315
Business Contact
Phone: (763) 515-5353
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Advanced Medical Electronics Corporation (AME) proposes to develop a smartphone-based audiovisual array that enables hearing aid users to converse with multiple speakers in reverberant environments with significant speech babble noise where their hearing aids do not function well. The array will consist of a smartphone, a smartphone accessory, and a smartphone software application. The smartphone multi-microphone audiovisual array accessory will be in a form factor thatallows attachment to the back of the smartphone. The accessory will also contain a lower power radio by which it can transmit audio signals to compatible hearing aids. The smartphone software application will use the smartphone's built in camera to acquireimages and perform real-time face detection using the built-in face detection support of the smartphone. The location of talking targets will be used to implement an audiovisual beamforming algorithm to improve the signal to noise ratio and consequentlyimprove the user's speech intelligibility. Since the proposed array system leverages a handheld consumer electronic device, it will be portable and low cost. AME will design a production prototype in phase II and perform validation. PUBLIC HEALTHRELEVANCE: The primary complaint of hearing-aid users is their difficulty understanding speech in noise. Only 51% of hearing aid users report they are satisfied with their hearing aids in noise. A discrete device that augments hearing aids in difficult reverberant environments would allow hearing aid users to converse with multiple people in almost any environment including restaurants, automobiles, etc.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government