Science & Technology News

Scientists are developing an interface for silent transmission of commands to devices

A team of scientists from New York University, led by Zhangpeng Jin, began developing the EarCommand interface, which will allow silent transmission of commands to various devices.

EarCommand technology is based on the fact that when a person says different words to himself, the accompanying movements of muscles and bones cause a special deformation of the ear canal.

EarCommand includes an earbud-like device that uses an inward-facing speaker to transmit ultrasonic signals into the user's ear canal. When these signals bounce off the inside of the channel, their echo is picked up by an inward-facing microphone. A computer connected to the interface analyzes these echoes using a special algorithm to determine the deformity of the ear canal.

The device was tested on a group of users who spoke 32 different single word commands and 25 sentence commands. The system recognized most commands with a word-level error rate of 10.2% and a sentence-level error rate of 12.3%.

EarCommand worked even if the users were wearing masks or were in a noisy environment.

Zhangpeng Jin has previously developed the EarHealth interface, which uses earbuds with echoes to detect ear problems such as blocked eardrums, ruptured eardrums, and otitis media.

Scientists are developing an interface for silent transmission of commands to devices