Israeli AI-powered hearing solution wins prestigious innovation award

The technology aims to eliminate the "cocktail party effect" often caused by regular hearing aids in noisy settings

OrCam Hear (photo credit: ORCAM)
OrCam Hear
(photo credit: ORCAM)
OrCam Hear, a device for hearing impairment powered by artificial intelligence, has been recognized with a “Best of Innovation” award at the CES 2020 Innovation Awards.
The annual competition, judged by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest technology gathering, takes place this week.
The wearable assisted-technology device, designed by Jerusalem-based OrCam, makes hearing aids smart by identifying and isolating an individual speaker’s voice and relaying the clear speech in real time to Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids.
The technology aims to eliminate the “cocktail party effect” often caused by regular hearing aids in noisy settings, which amplify every nearby sound. The power-efficient and lightweight device combines lip-reading and simultaneous voice-source separation, operating off-line and intuitively switching between speakers the listener wants to hear.
“We are truly honored that the CTA has distinguished OrCam Hear as one of the Best Innovations of CES 2020 in the Accessibility category,” said OrCam Technologies co-CEO and co-founder Prof. Amnon Shashua, who also serves as chief executive and president of Mobileye. “We deeply appreciate the recognition by the CTA of OrCam’s wearable assisted technologies’ ability to continue to transform people’s lives.
“With OrCam Hear, we pioneered the innovation as a versatile, effective solution for people who use hearing aids to seamlessly – and exclusively – hear the voice of their choosing in any type of environment, clearly and in real time.”
The solution for hearing impairment represents one of a growing list of wearable AI-driven assisted technologies developed by the company, founded by Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 2010, and which will also be showcased at CES.
OrCam co-founders Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram. (Credit: OrCam)OrCam co-founders Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram. (Credit: OrCam)
OrCam’s MyEye 2 artificial-vision device, named by TIME magazine as one of the best inventions of 2019, reads printed and digital text aloud from any surface to assist visually impaired individuals. The device is activated by a pointing gesture or simply by following the wearer’s gaze. It includes face recognition and can identify consumer products, colors and banknotes.
The company’s OrCam Read device is a handheld reader for individuals with reading disorders, including dyslexia and reading fatigue. The pen-sized tool reads text aloud from printed surfaces and screens, using precision laser guidance to read entire texts or start reading at precise points.
OrCam MyMe is a small facial-recognition device worn on clothing. It quickly provides details about people a person previously met via a connected smartphone or smart watch. Targeting the mass market rather than assisted-technology customers, MyMe provides users with the name of a person, their contact information and LinkedIn profile.
“This is a historic CES for OrCam Technologies, where we will showcase our newly developed AI-driven computer vision and machine learning platforms that provide increased independence – effectively impacting the quality of life of a wide spectrum of people,” Shashua said.