We all have a habit of shutting out the world by putting on our earphones or headphones. Being secluded from the world gives us time to think but the results are fatal at times. The music we hear cuts every other sound and we fall prey to the accidents. There have been countless cases of people getting run over by vehicles due to wearing earphones while walking on the streets or crossing railway tracks. Awareness has been raised on this; people have been alerted on the mishaps caused because of walking with headphones on, but everything failed. A group of researchers from the Data Science Institute at Columbia University came with an idea that might work as an alternate. The group of researchers has come up with an innovative headphone system that can warn the users of approaching vehicles and other dangers. This pioneering piece of equipment is just a prototype and the researchers are carrying out the tests on the busy New York streets. In an article, the researchers have published,“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.”Another associate professor Fred Jiang said,“We are exploring a new area in developing inexperience and low-power technology that creates an audio-alert mechanism for pedestrians.”
In addition to the advanced technology, the researchers have designed the headphone in such a way that they would utilize machine learning models installed on the user’s smartphones to identify several acoustic cues of nearby vehicles. Every year thousands of people lose their lives due to careless use headphones. Stopping them from using the headphones while walking on the streets have failed miserably ergo researchers came up with this idea that will not only let the people enjoy their favourite music and yet safely travel on the roads.