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Handheld ball that alerts the holder to the direction of loud sounds
  [vote for,

Scurrying out from behind a city bus, I thought that the loud beeps it was emitting would be wasted on someone who was deaf, possibly leading to that someone being wasted. Likewise, they would be unable to hear the roar of an approaching car on a country road, and so might not turn their heads in time to react.

So, I propose the Sensound®: a spherical device designed to sit in the palm of the hand. Three of more microphones protude at the poles and stick out between the fingers (so sounds are not muffled by the hand). When the device picks up a loud sound, the surface of the ball nearest the source of the sound vibrates, allowing even a deaf person not only to be alerted to loud noises in the vicinity, but to know where they are coming from.

Never having been deaf, I'm not exactly certain how effective this would be. But many, many important alerts in our modern world are audio-based.

DrCurry, Jul 17 2003

Can this be adapted to the Doc's vibrating balls? [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Page 3 - .pdf http://psych.fuller...6%20Audition%20.pdf
CNS Pathway for Sound Localization [thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       You'll have a problem with reflected sounds, particularly in traffic (behind that bus, for example). The sound of an approaching diesel truck's air brakes may seem to be coming from the opposite direction. Your ball needs to get suspicious about odd angle shifts in sound direction, and warn you.   

       There's also a [link] that's probably irrelevant but seems very scientific.
Amos Kito, Jul 17 2003

       Echo cancellation filters are used in telephones and other electronics where echos are a problem. An angular/temporal echo canceller is not unreasonable. The first sound would dominate and later correlated sounds at other angles would be supressed.
dweeb, Jul 17 2003

       Nerve deafness has a tremendous impact on *where* sound is coming from. When such is the case, it's 99 % eyes, 1% ears.
thumbwax, Jul 17 2003

       I like the idea.   

       How about a belt? Even a strap of some sort that could be worn under clothing.
phoenix, Jul 18 2003

       Reminds me of a related idea in this month's Popular Science: 'GPS for the blind.'
RayfordSteele, Jul 18 2003


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