Sound Notifications lets Android users be aware of “critical sounds”

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If you’re dealing with hearing loss or some problems with your auditory system, there may be sounds around your home that you need to pay attention to but you may not be always aware of. There are several tools available for situations like that and now you can add your Android phone to the tools you can use to help draw your attention to identified sounds and noises that you may encounter on a daily basis. Sound Notifications is a new feature on Android that will give you push notifications for those important sounds.

Google says this new feature was specially created for the more than 466 million people who are suffering from some sort of hearing loss. Basically what it does is to give you push notifications when it detects important and critical household sounds like a baby crying, a dog barking, etc. You can also set it up that it can give you a flash from your camera light or a vibration from your phone in case a push notification doesn’t work for you.

The feature also works with other supported devices like Wear OS smartwatches. You can also get text notifications with vibrations on your wearable if that is something more workable. This is especially useful when users are asleep and need to be alerted to these critical noises. Sound Notifications is something that works offline but uses machine learning. It is able to recognize ten different noises for now, including smoke and fire alarms, water running, door knocking, appliances beeping, and baby noises.

You also get a Timeline view which you can scroll through to give you a better understanding of the detected sounds from the past few hours. It shows when and how long a certain sound occurred so you can also better understand the context and importance (or lack of importance) of certain sounds. To start using Sound Notifications, enable it in the Accessibility menu in your phone’s settings.

Another Google feature, Live Transcribe also has sound detection which shows more than 30 sound events when you’re using real-time captions so you can use them together. You can also download both Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from Google Play then turn on the latter in your settings. While the feature has been designed for those with hearing difficulties, it can also be used by those who are wearing headphones and may not hear the regular noises around them.

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