Posts Tagged ‘SCIENCE!’

Recently, MobilSyrup released their predictions for wearable technology (wearables). In it, their top two predictions are wearable tech comes into focus with AI and 2017 will be the year for hearables (smart ear buds). In April 2015, I sent this email to the author of Introducing Data Science: Hearing aides on the brink of a paradigm shift (an article from 2014):

I recently attended a startup event where a company (Sensaura) showcased a technology that can determine a person’s emotion using only their heartbeat. This seems like it would be a perfect tool for improving hearing aid satisfaction in real-time. Specifically, if a hearing aid had an integrated heartbeat sensor (ex: Valencell), this signal could be sent to a smart phone via bluetooth (or even cellphone, if low enough latency) along with current auditory conditions. From this information, it would be possible to use machine learning to obtain useful information between emotional states and environmental sound properties. Using his information, it is possible to progressively modify the hearing aid parameters (a sort of self-adjusting loop) and reduce negative emotional reactions of hearing aid use. A self-adjusting hearing aid.

It’s interesting to re-read the article and email with the perspective of the state of tech in 2017. This truly is an industry in change and it’s just starting right now! Two months after that email, Doppler Labs launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for a “smart” wireless earbud. Since since then, Doppler Labs raised a total of $50.1 million dollars and other companies have emerged. I’m putting the email out there in case it gives someone a cool idea for something in this space, or if someone want to talk about this exciting opportunity!

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Earlier today, I gave a presentation to 25 6th grade students about the brain. The presentation was centered around the 5 senses and, as a big finale, the kids got to touch a real (calf) brain! This presentation was held for the 2012 international Brain Awareness Week. A week where local student-run organizations go to primary and secondary schools and give presentation to raise awareness about brain-related science. I’ve been involved with Brain Awareness Week or BAM (Brain Awareness Montreal), for two years and this was the first time I gave a presentation. It was really fun to explain the brain, try to explain how my research is related to the presentation and answer questions. One of the kids said she’d like to be a brain scientist when she grew up. Awesome! I can’t wait to do it again next year!

For obvious reasons, this experience reminded me of my students in Korea. I also realized that large classes (I had one class of 41 students, if memory serves) make a huge difference when it comes to teaching and discipline. It’s way easier to manage a 25 student class than a 40 student class. It also seemed like the students weren’t as spread out because the actual room was smaller. Plus you can really focus on answering more questions if you have 15 students less to worry about. Thinking about my old students put me in a very nostalgic mood. I might watch a few kpop music videos and send them emails later.

Speaking of science, my first article came out this week! That’s seriously awesome news. I wasn’t as involved with this article as I would have liked (most of the actual testing was done before I joined the lab), but I’ll be able to make up for that in the next articles. The article is titled Audiovisual segregation in cochlear implant users and I think it’s a pretty neat research, though I’m super biased. The article is published in one of the only peer-reviewed Creative Commons journal, so you don’t need an expensive subscription to the journal! If you want to read something before bed or if you want something to knock you out, I highly recommend you check it out.

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