Google has unveiled a new feature on Android called Sound Notifications that provides push notifications to notify users of critical sounds around them. Now Android smartphones will hear ‘critical’ sounds like smoke alarms, barking dogs, or a baby crying, and it’ll then notify the user through a push notification. Google announced the news through a blog post on Thursday.
This accessibility feature is primarily designed for over 466 million people globally with hearing loss. Hearing-impaired users and the users who are wearing earplugs will be highly benefitted from this, as the Sound Notifications feature will send an alert to their phone whenever the smoke alarm sounds, dogs bark, or the baby starts crying.
Sound Notifications Features, Working, And More
The new accessibility feature is an extension of Google’s Live Transcribe service that allows users to see live transcripts of conversations. This feature shows more than 30 sound events and provide real-time captions alongside. The good thing about this feature is that it works completely offline and without the internet. It just uses the device’s microphone to recognize different noises and critical sounds. The ‘critical’ sounds include the barking of a dog, smoke/fire alarm, door knocking, baby crying, and more.
Sound Notifications feature is available on Android smartphones and Wear OS smartwatches. It will provide vibrations directly on your wrist, in case of the Wear OS smartwatch, so that you can stay vigilant when you’re incapable of hearing outside sounds for some reason, including sleep. Google product managers Sharlene Yuan and Sagar Salva wrote in the blog post, “While we can notify you about baby sounds or dog barking, it often helps to know more about the preceding events that might have caused that disturbance.” The feature also keeps a record of the detected sounds from the past few hours, and users can scroll through a brief snapshot of them with the Timeline view.
To use Sound Notifications, first, go to the Settings on your Android phone and then enable the Sound Notifications feature in the Accessibility menu. If there is no such option in your phone settings, you can download both Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from the Google Playstore. After this, go to the settings again to turn on Sound Notifications.