Alphabet’s moonshot lab is working on a device to give people superhuman hearing

Alphabet has tried over the years to tackle some wild projects, such as a crop-sniffing plant wagon and fish tracking cameras. But now his X lab is working on a device that can give people superhuman hearing. As Insider first post, the project, codenamed “Wolverine”, examines the future of hearing through hardware with sensors. The team members spoke to Insider say anonymously that they are currently trying to figure out how to isolate people’s voices in a crowded room or to make it easier to focus on one person when overlapping conversations take place around you.

They have iterated on the device several times, including devices that cover the entire ear and others that protrude above the ear. These iterations were great because the team included many microphones in the building, but newer versions are smaller, Insider say. Several people from hearing technology companies joined the team, including talent from Starkey Hearing Technologies and Eargo.

Insider says the Wolverine team’s goals best match those of Whisper, a company that came out of stealth last year. The team managed to isolate sounds using a ‘sound separation engine’ that adapts to the wearers’ environments. This suggests that the laboratory’s goal is not just a device that everyone wants, but rather an improved hearing aid.

The Alphabet team is not just focused on one device or one utility box, Insider say. The team wants to build a successful business with multiple devices and models, so if they are successful, you can wear Google hearing aids.

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