It can be tough hearing each other on the phone no matter how much you shout if you’re in a noisy environment. Fraunhofer believes its new audio software can solve that problem, though, and make even garbled loudspeaker announcements at train stations more understandable. The German research organization’s ADAPT DRC software uses microphones to listen to and analyze ambient noise. If it senses that it’s rather noisy around you, it boosts certain parts of your speech, particularly consonants like “p,” “t” and “k.”
The sounds those consonants make are short and higher in frequency, making them hard to hear. Fraunhofer’s software can adjust sounds to ensure the other person hears if you’re saying “paste” or “taste.” It can also amplify your voice when you speak softly and tone it down if you’re being too loud, as high volumes can distort your words. The organization says ADAPT DRC is already available to industrial partners. If any manufacturer wants to incorporate it into their devices, they can simply install it on their phones since they already have microphones. Train stations, however, will have to put up mics to be able to analyze ambient sounds.