We all do it, throw on our headphones and go into our own personal space erasing the world around us. But what if someone started calling your name, or tried warning you of impending danger that you were too distracted to notice? Would you hear them? Not until now. The online giant, Amazon, recently patented the first ever noise-cancelling headphones that can turn off when someone calls your name.
How it Works
Although it sounds like bliss, muting the world around you and walking around a busy city with only four senses in use is a dangerous game. On July 19th, Amazon’s patent for these life-saving headphones was granted. The way they work is that the headphones automatically clicks off when it “hears” certain sound patterns, frequencies and even keywords like a name. The feature would allow the wearer to instantly tune back into his or her surroundings, and hopefully get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
The Patent Technology
A diagram in the patent application shows an array of microphones built into the ear pads. These are probably what are used to listen to ambient sounds, similar to the way the Amazon Echo’s Alexa is always aware of vocal prompts spoken around her. The description of the headphones even talks about training the microphones to listen for a two-part audio command like “Hey Michael!”
Take Our Money
The only disappointing thing about this patent is that there is no guarantee the headphones will actually be available to purchase anytime soon! Although as noise cancelling headphones start flooding the market, it’s nice to know that someone is looking out for our safety. We’ll be first in line when the purchase date is announced.