Thursday, August 13, 2015

Enhanced Hearing Device Could Lead To One For Books

Imagine a world where you control what you hear – tuning out annoying sounds while amplifying others.  Further, imagine making sound a non-factor, from silencing all surrounding sound to having the capacity to hear far-away conversations from across the room. According to Newsweek, that time is about to arrive.

According to an 8/14/15 article entitled “What Big Ears You Have," soon you’ll hear like Superman, and be able to tune out that barking dog, with a revolutionary new hearing device to be unleashed in 2015.  It states:

“Before the end of the year, startup Doppler Labs plans to come out with a promising product called Here—oversized earbuds, about the size of a quarter, meant to give you control over live sounds. They don’t play Spotify songs; instead, they filter and alter the thrum of the real world around you. The early versions will have volume control and some noise cancellation, so you can put them in your ears and make city sounds less harsh while boosting conversations so they come through loud and clear. One Here setting is “Baby Suppress,” which sounds like birth control but is meant to squash the sound of the crying kid behind you on a cross-country flight.”

The article contemplated how this device could even influence real estate and where people live.  If you could wear noise-canceling buds anywhere, anytime, would people live by trains and jet runways – or above noisy commercial venues?  But the potential for this tool could go beyond the obvious.  The article explores this:

“Another idea is to allow us to hear wavelengths never meant for our ears. Color is a wavelength we see but can’t hear, but what if you could hear green? Imagine the impact on the colorblind. Or what if you could hear infrared, essentially letting you see in the dark through your ears?

"This stuff is likely to happen. With Google Glass and the stalled Apple Watch and other wearables, there’s no there there. Now, however, we’ll soon have a Here here.”

Enhanced or controlled hearing could be just the beginning.  Our senses are up for grabs and technology will tinker – by pill, surgery or device – with the possibilities.  How about an enhanced reading device?

Could there be something invented to help us read faster, retain more information, and to assist in fully understanding and appreciating what we just read?  Will we put on a special pair of glasses that can help us with this? Will a computer chip be installed into our body?  Something will come about to revolutionize the reading process.  It’s just a matter of time.

But perhaps the reading process is fine the way it is.  It’s not just a means to an end; we enjoy the act of reading.  It can’t be a rushed pace – reading is fun.  Then again, if a device can be made to help us skim fast or to cut out certain portions of a book that should’ve been edited out anyway, that would be interesting.  Just as we use a DVR to get past commercials or even lulls in the action, cold we devise something to help us gloss over the insignificant or even boring passages in a book?

For now, we’ll see if the sound-editing device is a hit.  If it is, look out, books can be next.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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