Tech

The inventors hope that the new audio technology can help students with ADHD

Nuance Hearing, a provider of focused listening technology, has launched the Voice Selector Study (VSS), a new solution designed to help young people focus in noisy and distracting environments.

The VSS works thanks to eight built-in microphones that automatically track the teacher’s voice as it moves around the classroom, reducing the level of background noise and allowing the user to concentrate with less cognitive effort.

Aimed at any pupil who is struggling to focus in learning environments, the inventors say the device is useful for those with ADHD and other sensory and hearing processing difficulties.

A small clinical study that tested the effectiveness of VSS in the classroom for 31 adolescents with ADHD showed improvements in the ability to focus and listen to the teacher and the ability to ignore distractions in the classroom.

In the first phase of the study, the participants filled out questionnaires to evaluate their typical learning experience. They were then asked to use the devices in their school for five consecutive days.

At the end of each day, participants filled out questionnaires and rated their learning experience with the device. Professor Manor then collected these results to assess the impact of VSS.

The study results indicated that VSS helped with students’ ability to focus attention on what was happening in class and overcome vocal distractions and background noise.

In particular, students reportedly found it easier to focus on the teacher’s instructions.

There was also a marked improvement in behavioral metrics by teachers, suggesting a possible link between attention span and classroom behavior.

The small study was led by Professor Iris Manor, president of the Attention Deficit Disorder Society of the Medical Association and a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine.

The devices are also currently used in research projects at the University of Haifa (led by Sarit Szpiro), the University of Ariel (led by Riki Taitelbaum) and the University of Madrid (led by Tomás Mañas León).

Nuance Hearing’s beamforming technology offers a signal-to-noise ratio of 15dB (the relative reduction of overall noise in relation to the target sound), comparable to an industry standard in real-time applications of 4-5dB.

Tami Harel, director of clinical research at Nuance Hearing, said, “Classrooms these days can be very noisy and full of distractions. It is difficult for everyone to tune into the teacher in a noisy environment, but for some children this task is even more difficult.

“Some children struggle to focus and focus on the teacher, and this effort affects their ability to learn and participate in the class.

“We are proud to launch the Voice Selector Study to help children ignore unwanted noises and distractions and focus on the teacher. We believe this can facilitate learning and empower students. “

The VSS is a small tabletop device that works with any wired headset. In addition to automatically tracking the dominant speaker, the user can also manually select up to two dominant speakers to track.


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The inventors hope that the new audio technology can help students with ADHD

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