37 Million People at Risk of ‘Distraction Danger’ When Wearing Headphones

Call for Hearable Technologies to Improve Safety

London, UK– 14 May 2019: New analysis reveals {that a} staggering 37 million Americans really feel they’ve put themselves at risk over the previous 12 months when carrying headphones or earphones whereas strolling, jogging or biking. Examples included stepping out right into a street, bumping into someone or not listening to an emergency car approaching.

Commissioned by Audio Analytic, a number one AI know-how firm targeted on sound recognition, the analysis explored the dangers that individuals throughout the US are uncovered to on a regular basis by being distracted from their environment whereas listening to music on the transfer.

The danger will increase the youthful customers are. More than one in 4 younger folks between 18 and 34 have put themselves in hurt’s approach when carrying headphones, as 26% admitted to discovering themselves in at least one hazardous state of affairs over the previous 12 months, with many doing this a number of instances.

Despite these admissions, the analysis discovered the bulk of folks declare to bear in mind of the hazards of carrying headphones and earphones in public. 96% of the inhabitants think about it harmful to put on headphones or earphones when driving, whereas different actions deemed harmful embody biking (91%), operating (86%) and commuting on public transport (72%).

Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO and Founder of Audio Analytic feedback; “A worrying number of people are putting their lives at risk every day when wearing headphones and shutting down the sense of hearing. Many of us wear headphones to block out the world and increase our focus, but that brings the risk of losing awareness of our surroundings. Missing important information in our environment can ultimately expose us to dangerous situations – and more needs to be done to prevent accidents from happening, we believe contextually-aware AI technology can be an enabler of this.”

Dr Richard Lichenstein, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland, added; “Our analysis of accident reports confirmed {that a} warning was sounded earlier than the crash in 29% of accidents involving pedestrians carrying headphones. Headphone use has develop into frequent for a major proportion of pedestrians – and headphones with noise cancelling options have develop into extra widespread. If noise cancelling headphones can now be designed to acknowledge warning sounds and actively alert the wearer to hazard, or mechanically alter sound transmission to extend consciousness, then there’s the potential to scale back harm danger amongst headphone wearers.”

The outcomes spotlight demand for headphones to make use of synthetic intelligence, with 88% wanting their audio units to acknowledge and alert them to the sound of emergency car sirens. Other necessary sounds folks need their headphones to acknowledge embody; hearth alarms (92%), necessary bulletins beginning e.g. prepare platform adjustments (83%) and gun photographs (90%).

An extra 88% of Americans agreed that dynamic noise cancellation, the place headphones protect battery life by mechanically turning noise cancellation on when it’s wanted, can be helpful in a variety of places equivalent to the house, commuting and at the health club. In addition 58% would buy hearables that had dynamic sound equalization, which permits the hearables to optimize the audio expertise for various acoustic environments.

Dr Chris Mitchell continued; “Modern headphones with active noise cancellation can increase the risk of distraction danger, but these devices also offer a solution. They are fitted with external microphones presenting an opportunity to add intelligent sound recognition to ensure contextual awareness. When the earphones themselves can hear and recognize important sounds, like a siren, car horn or even a doorbell or somebody talking, the devices can alert the wearer or instantly change settings to allow more sound through to enhance awareness. In addition, by better understanding the world around us, wearables with sound recognition could also enhance sound quality and better manage battery power. Advanced AI tech can make the next headphones we buy intelligent enough to understand context. We can then lose ourselves in our music without losing touch with the world around us.”

Other info from the report embody:

  • 74% of US respondents personal two or extra pairs of headphones (along with these provided with telephones.)
  • 46% of folks put on headphones for greater than two hours a day
  • 54% are ‘excited by’ or ‘think it would be useful’ to have synthetic intelligence on hearables. Only 12% can be anxious about it or will keep away from it
  • 81% of respondents are prepared to sacrifice their battery life in return for extra clever options
  • The business has handed the wired vs wi-fi tipping level, with wi-fi units now extra widespread amongst customers, particularly amongst these spending greater than $101

Download the total Global 2019 Hearables Report; AI Attitudes and Expectations right here audioanalytic.com/hearables2019.


Notes to editors
The survey was carried out amongst 6,012 customers within the UK and USA (3,008 within the UK and three,004 within the USA).

The analysis was carried out independently by Sapio Research on behalf of Audio Analytic at the top of March 2019. Respondent breakdown is consultant throughout gender, geography and age. In this research, the possibilities are 95 in 100 {that a} survey outcome doesn’t differ, plus or minus, by greater than 1.3% from the outcome that might have been obtained if interviews had been carried out with all individuals within the nations.

According to the United States Census in 2010 (https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf), there are 234,564,071 US residents over 18 years of age. Our survey discovered that 15.72% of respondents felt they’d put themselves in a harmful state of affairs at least as soon as within the final 12 months whereas carrying headphones, earphones or earbuds.

About Audio Analytic
Audio Analytic is the worldwide chief in clever sound recognition, utilizing superior, edge-based AI to supply client know-how with a large sense of listening to.

At the guts of the corporate is a know-how platform made up of two synergistic components:

  • Alexandria™ is the world’s largest commercially-usable audio dataset for machine studying, that includes thousands and thousands of audio information which can be structured taxonomically with full knowledge provenance.
  • AuditoryNET™ is a highly-optimized deep neural community for sound recognition, which fashions the ideophonic options of sounds.

In addition to core know-how are almost 50 consultants in acoustics, knowledge, machine studying and embedded software program engineering.

The firm has efficiently licensed its know-how to main international manufacturers, together with two of the world’s greatest firms plus Hive, Iliad, Sengled and others. The firm has companions together with Arm, Intel, Knowles, Ambarella, Ambiq, Vesper, Frontier and others.

Audio Analytic Ltd. is a privately held, VC-backed firm, based in 2010 and headquartered in Cambridge, UK with workplaces in San Francisco.

Marnie Spicer
Kaizo PR
+44 (0) 20 3176 4723
[email protected]

Neil Cooper
Audio Analytic
[email protected]

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