While listening your favorite songs, you don’t want someone or something makes noise to make it unpleasant for you. You always looks for the best noise-cancelling headphones in the market. But on a noisy subway with your headphones on could be a dangerous game or you might be miss when your friends yells your name for a pizza party. After all, you need to hear something very important even during your relaxing music session. They might be annoying, but some noises you actually need to hear, like a car horn or a siren or someone yelling your name.
Amazon might be working on the first noise-cancelling headphones that can save lives by responding to certain sounds pattern out there. The company was awarded recently a patent for a noise-canceling headphone that automatically turns off when it “hears” certain sound patterns, frequencies and even keywords like a name. The technology allow the wearer to instantly tune back into his or her surroundings.
How does it works?
According to the patent sheet, the technology provide suspension of noise cancellation at a noise-cancelling device using keyword spotting. In one aspect, a predetermined word or phrase can be spotted within an utterance received at the noise-cancelling device, and in response, noise cancellation can be suspended or otherwise terminated. The predetermined word or phrase can be specific to an end-user that utilizes the noise-cancelling device and/or a person that interacts with the end-user. The noise-cancelling device can resume noise cancellation in response to a control signal.
The inventors of the technology listed on the patent sheet are two Amazon software engineers, Benjamin Scott and Mark Edward Rafn. It’s worth mentioning here that the patent only protects the technology behind the invention and doesn’t guarantee the headphones will actually be available.