Data Science Institute researcher designs headphones that warn pedestrians of dangers

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  1. Calliers

    Calliers Just got off the hedonic treadmill... Staff Member

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    You see them all over city streets: pedestrians wearing headphones or earbuds - their faces glued to their phones as they stroll along oblivious to their surroundings.

    Known as "twalking," the behavior is not without its dangers. Headphone-wearing pedestrians often can't hear the auditory cues - horns, shouts, or the sound of approaching cars - that signal imminent harm. As a result, the number of injuries and deaths caused by twalking in the U.S. has tripled in the last seven years. Last year, moreover, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. were at their highest level since 1990.

    To counter this growing public safety concern, researchers at the Data Science Institute, Columbia, are designing an intelligent headphone system that warns pedestrians of imminent dangers. The headphones have miniature microphones and intelligent signal processing that detects sounds of approaching vehicles. If a hazard appears near, the system sends an audio alert to the pedestrian's headphones. The research team is developing prototypes and testing them on streets close to Columbia. Once developed, the intelligent wearable system could help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

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    Source: eurekalert
     

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