Alphabet's X division working on Wolverine-like ‘super hearing’ wearables
According to a new report, the company's secretive X division has been working on a wearable that will give users ‘superhuman’ hearing abilities.
Google's X division, which focuses on creating unique and unconventional new technology, is reportedly working on a new wearable device that might give users ‘superhuman' hearing abilities, according to reports.
If the leaks about the X division's latest piece of technology are true, then it looks like users will be able to ‘focus' their hearing on one speaker in any ‘group setting' where conversations are overlapping, according to a report by Business Insider. The project has reportedly been codenamed ‘wolverine' after the mutant X-Men character who also possessed similar capabilities.
The report states that work on the project seems to have begun in 2018 and that there have been several potential prototypes so far, some “covered the entire side of the ear or protruded out from above the ear”. The report also quotes an Alphabet employee confirming that the division was “exploring the future of hearing”.
While these are only early prototypes, it would appear that the company would also need to work on making the device's form factor smaller if it were to make it a successful product that would appeal to businesses to fail - or it could go the way of Google's original Glass and Project Ara, and get the axe. The Business Insider report says the project's future isn't guaranteed and it must show commercial or industrial value.
If successful a wearable device from the wolverine team would likely work as a much more advanced version of the AirPods Pro or the Galaxy Buds Pro that allow you to take in ambient sounds via the microphones - except these would likely amplify specific voices and isolate them from others in the vicinity, possibly helping users with hearing difficulties as well. Whether it will ever reach commercial production and sale to the average consumer, however, only time will tell.