By Emily Matchar
December 16, 2015
Seventeen-year-old Daniil Frants and his buddies hope to help the hard-of-hearing engage in naturally flowing conversations
It’s a common misconception that most hearing-impaired people can easily read lips. But while many are indeed practiced lip readers, only 30 to 40 percent of English can be understood through watching the mouth. Much of spoken English occurs without lip movement, while many sounds, such as ‘b’ and ‘p,’ look identical.
This leaves many hearing-impaired people at a loss when communicating with the hearing. A number of recent technological innovations attempt to address the issue, from devices that turn spoken language into text on a smartphone to speculative systems to allow deaf people to “hear” through their tongues. That's right—researchers from Colorado State University are developing an earpiece that translates sounds into electrical patterns that it then sends to a retainer.
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