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make all headphones clever: Engineers can flip ‘dumb’ headphones into good ones by turning them into sensors


How do you flip “dumb” headphones into good ones? Rutgers engineers have invented an inexpensive and simple means by reworking headphones into sensors that may be plugged into smartphones, establish their customers, monitor their coronary heart charges and carry out different providers.

Their invention, known as HeadFi, relies on a small plug-in headphone adapter that turns an everyday headphone right into a sensing gadget. Not like good headphones, common headphones lack sensors. HeadFi would permit customers to keep away from having to purchase a brand new pair of good headphones with embedded sensors to take pleasure in sensing options.

“HeadFi may flip lots of of hundreds of thousands of present, common headphones worldwide into clever ones with a easy improve,” mentioned Xiaoran Fan, a HeadFi main inventor. He’s a latest Rutgers doctoral graduate who accomplished the analysis throughout his last 12 months on the college and now works at Samsung Synthetic Intelligence Heart.

A peer-reviewed Rutgers-led paper on the invention, which ends up in “earable intelligence,” can be formally printed in October at MobiCom 2021, the highest worldwide convention on cellular computing and cellular and wi-fi networking.

Headphones are among the many hottest wearable units worldwide they usually proceed to grow to be extra clever as new features seem, comparable to touch-based gesture management, the paper notes. Such features often depend on auxiliary sensors, comparable to accelerometers, gyroscopes and microphones which can be out there on many good headphones.

HeadFi turns the 2 drivers already inside all headphones into a flexible sensor, and it really works by connecting headphones to a pairing gadget, comparable to a smartphone. It doesn’t require including auxiliary sensors and avoids adjustments to headphone {hardware} or the necessity to customise headphones, each of which can enhance their weight and bulk. By plugging into HeadFi, a transformed headphone can carry out sensing duties and play music on the identical time.

The engineers performed experiments with 53 volunteers utilizing 54 pairs of headphones with estimated costs starting from $2.99 to $15,000. HeadFi can obtain 97.2 p.c to 99.5 p.c accuracy on consumer identification, 96.8 p.c to 99.2 p.c on coronary heart fee monitoring and 97.7 p.c to 99.3 p.c on gesture recognition.

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Supplies supplied by Rutgers College. Be aware: Content material could also be edited for fashion and size.

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