A 20/20 Look into Computer Vision

A 2020 Look Into Computer Vision - Outside

Often without realizing it, most humans are now regularly engaging with sophisticated computer vision technology. Things such as password authentication that used to require a password or fingerprint now need little more than a glance at your smartphone.  

Forty percent of Americans are utilizing face biometrics and facial recognition technology with at least one app per day, and that adoption increases to 75% among 18 to 34-year-olds1. The global computer vision market is expected to grow at an exponential compounded annual growth rate of 19.6% by 2030 2, and other deep learning techniques have widened the scope of what’s possible with today’s computer vision technology. 

From unlocking smartphones to walking through facial scanners at airports, computer vision technology is rapidly integrating into our everyday lives. 

What is Computer Vision? 

Computer vision is a subfield of computer science and artificial intelligence that utilizes computers and systems to gather meaningful information from images. Computer vision extrapolates data from images to make decisions. Its ultimate goal is correctly identifying objects and people to take appropriate action, such as avoiding a pedestrian on a walkway in a self-driving car or accurately identifying a smartphone user who can unlock their phone. 

How Does Computer Vision Work? 

Computer vision technology aims to mimic the human brain’s process of recognizing visual information. Utilizing pattern recognition, it absorbs inputs, labels them as objects, and finds patterns that produce familiar images. Computer vision works to derive meaning from images while cataloging visual data from the real world. 

The History of Computer Vision 

Like many fields of artificial intelligence, the first forays into computer vision occurred decades ago. In the 1960s, researchers used algorithms to process and analyze visual data. By the 1970s, this technology had become more accurate at image processing and pattern debt recognition. 

Over the next several decades, scientists utilized machine learning algorithms to power most computer vision technology, culminating in one of the largest breakthroughs of the time, the Viola-Jones face detection algorithm. This algorithm is still used today as a core machine-learning object detection framework. As technology rapidly progressed in the 2000s, convolution neural networks enabled computers to detect objects and track movement with even greater accuracy. 

Real-Life Applications of Computer Vision 

Computer vision technology is revolutionizing many industries, from improved cancer detection to self-driving cars. Tools like facial recognition, object detection, and augmented reality offer multiple use cases for real-life applications. 

Autonomous Vehicles 

Tesla is a well-known example of self-driving vehicles, but Hyundai also recently invested in a deep-learning computer vision startup to apply the technology to its autonomous vehicles 3. Computer vision, a core functionality of autonomous vehicles, empowers self-driving cars to make sense of their surroundings; sensors and hardware gather billions of visual data points to create an image of what is happening outside the vehicle. From stop signs to hazardous objects on the road to pedestrians to other cars, computer vision algorithms improve the safety and efficiency of self-driving cars. 

Cancer Detection 

AI rapidly evolves in the healthcare industry, and cancer detection is no exception. X-ZELL is a company that uses sophisticated computer vision technology to enable same-day cancer diagnosis from imagery4. Computer vision uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyze medical images like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to identify potential signs of cancer with higher accuracy. Computer vision learns upon massive data sets, and it can accurately identify subtle patterns and features that might be difficult for humans to pick up on. In healthcare, this can improve patient outcomes, enhance treatments, and ultimately save lives. 

Security in Schools and Public Areas 

For increased school and public area security, Visio.ai combines edge computing with on-device machine learning and sophisticated vision systems5. From high-traffic walkways in airports to intrusion detection in universities and schools, deep learning intelligence can be merged with common surveillance cameras to use facial recognition analysis to measure emotions and detect suspicious activities. Computer vision technology offers the opportunity to improve safety throughout public areas like schools, airports, transportation systems, and more. 

Manufacturing Settings 

Manufacturing settings are full of opportunities for computer vision technology, from quality inspections to production monitoring to supply chain logistics. For example, in quality inspections, computer vision can automatically detect defects, scratches, and other anomalies. With radio frequency identification (RFID), computer vision technology can track products across supply lines, optimizing inventory, production schedules, and delivery. From improved supply chain logistics to ensuring consistent quality for semiconductors, computer vision supports better lighting, better product consistency, increased efficiencies, and more. 

A 2020 Look Into Computer Vision - Eye

Challenges of Computer Vision 

Computer vision and endpoint intelligence offer seemingly limitless opportunities for advancement in critical sectors. While safer vehicles and faster cancer diagnosis don’t seem problematic, the intelligence behind computer vision has challenges. 

Privacy Concerns 

Privacy and security are top concerns, like with many artificial intelligence tools. The risk for data breaches is high, and with sensitive, confidential information stored in potentially unsecured platforms, cybercriminals are highly incentivized to attack. Consumers worry about giving too much personal data to technology companies, and with cybercrime on the rise, computer vision AI tools need to ensure they’ve shored up their defenses. 

High Costs 

Currently, computer vision technology is not cheap to implement, and especially in more sophisticated use cases, the cost of purchasing hardware and software and performing maintenance is high. Add in large data sets that need to be cleaned, stored, and maintained; computer vision technology is extra costly. Also, the maintenance of these systems is expensive, and predictive maintenance is necessary to fix potential equipment defects before they become a bigger issue. 

Lack of Trained Experts 

While computer vision is rapidly evolving, few companies or individuals have vast expertise. As with any newer technology, it will take time for education and training to catch up with real-life applications adequately. Companies struggle to maintain specialized tech talent, and computer vision is no exception. Organizations also need trained experts on the differences between artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning to train systems adequately. 

The Future of Computer Vision 

Computer vision technology is still in its infancy, but society has already seen its vast impact across manufacturing, education, security, retail, healthcare, the automotive industry, and more. There is so much opportunity for consumer computer vision technology as the desire for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices accelerates—virtual reality headsets, augmented reality smart glasses, and more. As hardware becomes more sophisticated yet affordable, computer vision wearables and smart gadgets can trickle down to the average person. Also, as generative AI and deep learning accelerate, computer vision models will have more inputs from which to learn. 

How Ambiq Contributes 

Computer vision technology requires an embedded chip capable of processing machine learning inferencing. For this technology to be practical on endpoint devices, it needs to perform at low power and run at maximum efficiency. Ambiq’s ultra-low power System-on-Chips (SoCs) enable endpoint devices with optimal performance and energy efficiency that can perform locally on the device.  

Our friends at Northern Mechatronics (NMI) recently performed digit recognition on their flagship NM180100, which was enabled by Ambiq’s Apollo3 SoC. Numbers were identified and returned in less than 2-seconds. See it for yourself: 

Sources: 

1 New CyberLink Report Finds Over 131 Million Americans Use Facial Recognition Daily and Nearly Half of Them to Access Three Applications or More Each Day | November 22, 2022 
2 Computer Vision Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Component, By Product Type, By Application, By Vertical (Automotive, Healthcare, Retail), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 – 2030 | 2021 
3 Hyundai Invests in Deep Learning Computer Vision Startup allegro.ai | May 11, 2018 
4 X-Zell | 2023 
5 Top 9 Applications of AI Vision in the Education Sector | 2023 

Breathing-New-Life-into-Pulmonary-Medicine---Lung-Health-Analytics

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing every industry on the planet. Healthcare is just one example of technology disrupting and improving a market sector. 

Pulmonary medicine, for example, is changing drastically thanks to AI and IoT, with digital remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices already improving patient outcomes. With innovative products from leading technology companies, how we monitor lung health and respond to breathing issues may never be the same. 

Key Statistics: Respiratory Illness and Death 

Pulmonary disease is one of the most prevalent health concerns in the world. Lung issues can take many forms, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, and more. All of these problems have one thing in common: they make it frighteningly hard to breathe. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control1, 4.6% of all American adults have been diagnosed with COPD, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. In 2021 alone, COPD caused roughly 791,000 visits to emergency departments across the country. During the same year, there were 142,342 deaths in the country, making it the sixth most-common cause of death in the U.S. 

Globally, respiratory illness statistics can be even more frightening. The World Health Organization2 says COPD is the third-leading cause of death worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries, 90% of COPD deaths occur in people under 70 years old. In India, the most populous country3 in the world, COPD is the second-largest killer. 

This issue has created a need for digital pulmonary devices to help those affected return some normalcy to their breathing. 

The Market for Digital Pulmonary Devices 

The global market segment for pulmonary devices is huge. According to Future Market Insights4, the pulmonary devices market reached $1.4 billion in value in 2023. It’s already large and expected to grow. The market will reach $3.8 billion by 2023, meaning a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 10.3% over the next ten years. 

This growth is caused by an “increased general consciousness of the dangers of lung cancer,” as well as the importance of early treatment, which AI-powered pulmonary devices can support. 

Most of the activity in this market is occurring in North America. This is because of the continuous development of innovative products from the United States and Canada. 

Breathing-New-Life-into-Pulmonary-Medicine--Pulse-Oximeter

Innovations in Digital Pulmonary Medicine 

Emerging digital pulmonary devices will change how we prevent, diagnose, and treat respiratory conditions. Here are some of the ways companies are taking on pulmonary disease: 

 Inspire 

Sleep apnea devices like Inspire5 provide a small device that goes inside patients’ bodies and opens their airways by sending a gentle pulse. This device eliminates the need for hoses and masks and is controlled by a remote that patients and their doctors can configure based on the patient’s needs. Sleep apnea patients can resume breathing normally while getting a better night’s rest. 

100Plus 

Pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, and COVID-19 are just some of the respiratory illnesses the RPM Pulse Oximeter from 100Plus can detect6. This cellular-connected device measures oxygen saturation and irregularities in the bloodstream. It will then send the data to the patient’s provider so they can receive better care between visits. 

ResApp 

Some applications, such as ResApp, have been created to diagnose and manage respiratory illnesses using only a smartphone7. ResApp uses machine learning to analyze the sounds of a cough or breathing and match them to a large database of sound recordings with known clinical diagnoses. This removes the need for in-person visits and is more accurate than a stethoscope. 

CapMedic 

90% of patients with asthma fail to use their inhaler correctly, meaning most of the drug doesn’t reach the lungs and treat the patient effectively8. CapMedic simplifies this process with a smart medical cap that goes over the top of an inhaler and guides the patient with lights and sounds on how to use the inhaler. It can connect to your smart device and share your data directly with health providers, ensuring you are treating your respiratory symptoms efficiently. 

Issues and Concerns with AI-Powered Pulmonary Devices 

The technology behind digital pulmonary devices is advancing rapidly, but there are still concerns with digital pulmonary devices. 

New technology, regardless of the type, will have issues. AI-supported pulmonary devices are no different. The European Respiratory Review9 says that one concern is “iatrogenic risk.” Essentially, the issue is that a small error in the data could be amplified into thousands, even millions, of misdiagnoses. 

The confidentiality and security of medical data is also an issue. The risk of revealing patient identity is real, and many will avoid adopting the technology until these issues are settled. 

Despite these concerns, manufacturers are consistently finetuning and adjusting these innovations to record the most accurate data for pulmonary disease diagnosis and build a better and more secure architecture that keeps the patient’s data and personal information safe.  

The Future of Digital Pulmonary Devices 

The transformation in digital remote patient monitoring devices will continue improving the outcomes for pulmonary disease patients. More patients will be able to receive better in-home care without the need for a doctor’s visit, improving efficiency and reducing barriers to healthcare for everyone. 

How Ambiq is Contributing 

Remote patient monitoring devices that can diagnose pulmonary illnesses and analyze data is a power-hungry task. These devices will require a reliable source of power to become practical for patients and their care providers. Ambiq provides a range of ultra-low power system-on-chip (SoC) solutions built on the patented Subthreshold Power Optimization Technology (SPOT ®) platform that dramatically reduces the power consumption of computer inferencing on remote-powered devices by 10X. The future of pulmonary medicine begins here.  

References

1 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Includes: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema | September 14, 2023
 2 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) | March 16, 2023
 3 India overtakes China to become world’s most populous country | April 24, 2023
 4 Pulmonary Devices Market Snapshot (2023-3033) | May 2023
 5 Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation – Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
 6 Pulse Oximeter | Remote Monitoring Devices | 100Plus | 2023
 7 Chronic Respiratory Disease – ResApp Health | 2023
  8 CapMedic – Simplifying Respiratory Care by Correct And Regular Inhaler Use (capmedicinhaler.com) | 2023
 9 Artificial intelligence in pulmonary medicine: computer vision, predictive model and COVID-19  | August, 20, 2020 

Solar-Gets-Smarter-How-A.I.-Can-Expand-Clean-Energy-Solar-field

We live a comfortable life with the conveniences of electricity, but what if that all came to a halt? Electricity is mainly run by burning fossil fuels and coal, both limited resources with fossil fuel expected to run out in this century1. On top of that, using fossil fuels and coal for electricity contributes to climate change, causing 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions in 20212.  

Greenhouse gases trap heat on Earth, contributing to severe weather and natural disasters such as drought, hurricanes, and wildfires that can cause trillions of dollars in damage and pose dangers to human health3. This makes finding an alternative source of renewable and clean energy vital. A possible solution? Solar power. 

Solar energy does not produce greenhouse gases or carbon emissions in generating electricity4, and enough solar power travels from the sun and reaches the Earth every hour to support our planet’s power needs for an entire year5. So why hasn’t this clean source of energy replaced fossil fuels yet? 

The Challenges of Adopting Solar Energy 

Efficiently and effectively harnessing this all-natural, completely renewable power can be challenging. Rapid expansion and widespread adoption of solar energy are slowed by challenges around grid scaling, the high costs of constructing solar systems and farms, and integration with the existing grid. 

Researchers, utilities, startups, and governments are exploring ways to expand solar’s impact with the help of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Here, we’ll look at a few ways AI is already accelerating solar energy expansion. 

Solar Site Selection 

Environmental conditions can significantly affect solar production and storage capabilities. Each individual solar system project presents various challenges unique to the geography and location. 

By analyzing large amounts of environmental and geographical data, AI can help energy companies identify locations and sites that provide the best solar conditions and resources. AI can also find ideal positioning for later continued development and verify the ease of access for connection with existing grid systems. 

As one example, Airworks Automate6 helps governments, energy providers, and land developers identify ideal sites for solar farms and accelerate their development with the help of AI AirWorks’ AI algorithms process and train thousands of acres of geospatial data at varying GSD levels. Their models can process data from sources like drones, aircraft, and LiDAR to deliver site plans that clients can use to manage their projects. 

Solar Energy Performance 

Because clouds, timing, and planet position can affect the levels of solar power that reach the Earth, solar farms and systems run into problems around weather or mismatches in supply and demand. Sudden cloud cover, for example, can cause a noticeable dip in solar power generation, so grid operators lean on fossil fuel plants to overproduce energy as a backup. AI can analyze vast quantities of environmental data consistently and constantly, improving forecasting accuracy and providing real-time adjustments to new and changing conditions. 

In the U.K., the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), which operates the country’s electricity system, is partnering with the nonprofit Open Climate Fix to build an AI-powered tracking system that matches cloud movements with the exact locations of solar panels7. To be used in the national control room, the system will help ESO forecast cloud movements in hours and minutes instead of days. This could potentially improve solar forecasting accuracy by up to 50%. With better forecasts, ESO could reduce the fossil fuel energy held in reserve — improving efficiency while cutting carbon emissions. 

Solar-Gets-Smarter-How-A.I.-Can-Expand-Clean-Energy-Solar-installer

Grid Integration 

Integrating solar systems into existing energy grids can be a complicated endeavor. Because the electricity generated by solar power is intermittent, it’s critical to carefully consider and plan energy storage and supply needs to avoid service disruptions or grid outages. Solar system integration is a crucial element in reducing reliance on fossil fuels and cutting carbon emissions, 

Accurate solar power generation predictions improve forecasting and production uptime and help expand energy systems and storage. AI can accurately assess and analyze huge quantities of complex data and use predictive abilities to suggest innovative alternative options, making it a valuable technology for integration. 

The traditional power grid has a unidirectional power flow and information transfer, which limits its capacity for scalability, efficiency, and renewable energy integration. Companies are developing smart grids (S.G.s) as more intelligent power grids with bidirectional power flow and information interchange. 

BluWave-ai’s Solar Predictor, part of its Smart Grid Optimizer, offers utilities precise solar generation forecasts by combining rules-based modeling of equipment specifications, weather observations, and projections with time series machine learning predictions8. The Solar Predictor accurately predicts solar generation based on historical data, weather patterns, and other relevant factors. This capability enables energy providers to enhance the utilization of solar assets, plan energy distribution, and make informed decisions for sustainable grid management. 

The Bright Future of AI and Solar 

The convergence of AI and solar — two powerful emerging technologies — is already having a real-world impact on the transition to a cleaner energy economy. As both technologies continue to evolve, that impact will likely expand exponentially. By amplifying solar’s role in the world’s existing power grids, AI can help utilities and governments reduce the costs of electricity generation and achieve global goals of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

How Ambiq is Contributing 

AI is a power-hungry task, and creating sustainable energy such as a solar site with power-hungry devices is counterintuitive. At Ambiq, we’re obsessed with energy and sustainability. We enable connected endpoint devices capable of AI to run longer on a single charge of their battery by dropping the energy consumption up to 10X lower than anything on the market.  

Through our use of ultra-low power system-on-chips (SoCs) and our patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT®) platform, we will reduce our carbon footprint by empowering millions of smart sensors and meters like the ones used to identify solar sites. We will help create green energy using green energy devices. 

References 

1 When will we run out of fossil fuels? | FairPlanet | April 30, 2023
2 Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions | US EPA | October 5, 2023
3 5 things you should know about the greenhouse gases warming the planet | UN News | January 8, 2022
4 The Promise Of Solar Energy: A Low-Carbon Energy Strategy For The 21st Century | United Nations | 2007
5 Solar Energy Facts and Stats Every Homeowner Should Know | April 19, 2023
6 Airworks | 2023
7 Sun in Their AIs: Nonprofit Forecasts Solar Energy for UK Grid | February 24, 2023
8 BluWave-ai | 2023 

We-Are-Ambiq-key-visual-SethilKumar-Jayapal

In this blog post, we’ll turn our spotlight to SenthilKumar Jayapal, the Director of Design Technology Group at Ambiq Singapore. Born and Raised in Tamil Nadu of South India, SenthilKumar now lives in Singapore, where he leads Ambiq’s SPOT design team. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Department of Microsystems Engineering- IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Germany.

His research focused on creating wireless sensor nodes on a chip to be more energy efficient. That’s when he discovered that he could leverage novel sub-threshold circuits and ultra-low voltage designs to generate the desired result. It seems that SenthilKumar’s destiny to join Ambiq eventually was sealed back then.  

We recently sat down with SenthilKumar to get to know him a bit better and understand his role at Ambiq. 

How long have you been with Ambiq? 

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary with the company, having joined Ambiq Singapore on September 19, 2022. 

Tell us about your work (what you do, with whom you work, what you find enjoyable, and what you find challenging?)  

As the leader of the subthreshold power-optimized technology (SPOT) design team in Singapore under the CTO office, I work with diverse team members from different disciplines across multiple sites. The mission and vision of our group is to transform the future of the SPOT design methodology through advanced technology innovation. We focus on developing the SPOT design flows, methodologies, and signoff criteria by exploring new logic/memory design technologies, pushing boundaries, and driving innovation.  

Internally, we work closely with the Architecture and Product Planning (APP) and Engineering teams. Externally, we collaborate with foundry and electronic design automation (EDA) vendors to enable advanced SPOT methodologies for our new products. I enjoy the diverse range of challenges I face daily and the opportunities for cross-team collaboration. The work can be challenging at times, but this keeps it interesting.  

What is your favorite professional or personal achievement? 

In just one year, I successfully built a team from scratch, growing it to four members. I also worked closely with HR and IT teams to improve our onboarding and IT procurement processes. 

Tell us about a few of your favorite things. 

When I am not busy working on SPOT for more breakthrough innovations, I enjoy spending time with my two daughters, playing chess and badminton together. l enjoy exploring the diverse culture and cuisine of Singapore. I also have a love for music. No specific preference for any genre or style of music, just as it suits my moods. I like to listen to spiritual lessons for meditation and reflection.  Additionally, I make it a habit to go for a brisk walk of around 5km almost daily except Sundays. Those are my rest days. 

Why did you join Ambiq? 

I joined Ambiq because I have a passion for developing ultra-low power methodologies, and Ambiq’s SPOT platform was particularly appealing to me. I have been following Ambiq for the past 10 years, as the work of its founder and CTO, Scott Hanson, Ph.D., is closely related to my own Ph.D. research. When I learned that Ambiq was establishing a presence in Singapore, I saw it as an opportunity to showcase my skills to Scott Hanson. Thanks to Dan Cermak, I was given the chance to do so and ultimately joined Ambiq. 

What recent project has made you most excited?  

A recent project I am working on is the new 12nm Mackinac project. We started this project with a blank slate. We built almost everything from scratch with our small team able to enable back-end infrastructure from the ground up by closely working with our Foundry and EDA partners. We are very excited about this project as it’s the first 12nm digital chip we’re building under the guidance of our CTO, Scott Hanson. 

What do you love about Ambiq the most?  

Working at Ambiq has been a rewarding and enriching experience for me. Some of the things that I have grown to love about Ambiq are the opportunites to work on exciting projects that have a real impact on the world. The potential of the SPOT platform and how it can enable new applications and innovations in various domains, such as wearable devices, smart home, industrial IoT, and more still amazes me. 

I admire the passion and dedication of Ambiq’s leadership team, who have a vision and strategy for the company’s future. They are always open to new ideas and suggestions from the employees and encourage us to pursue our goals and interests. 

The flexibility and autonomy that Ambiq offers are things I appreciate. There’s trust and respect for employees, allowing us to work at our own pace and style. This structure allows us to deliver quality results.   

What do you think makes Ambiq stand apart from our competitors?  

Our SPOT technology is exceptional. However, it’s our commitment to providing an outstanding customer experience that truly sets us apart. 

Why is Ambiq a great company to work for in general?  

Ambiq is a highly regarded company to work for, as it offers its employees opportunities for professional growth that match their positions. Ambiq fosters a work environment that encourages clear and honest communication of ideas while respecting the opinions of others.  

Ambiq values meaningful work and encourages its employees to be true to themselves. The company promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace where collaboration, innovation, and a drive for positive change are at the forefront of everything they do.   

Would you recommend Ambiq to your family and friends?  If yes, why?   

Yes, Ambiq is a great company to work for. Working here has been a transformative experience for me that changed my expectations of myself and my career. I have learned new skills, gained new knowledge, and faced new challenges that have pushed me beyond my comfort zone and made me grow as a professional and as a person.  

What and where do you hope to see Ambiq in 5 years?   

We will continue to grow and innovate over the next five years. Recently, Ambiq announced the expansion of its technology design center in Singapore, a show of real and tangible commitment to its future. Ambiq is known for its Apollo family of system-on-chip (SoC) products, which offer the lowest power consumption on the market. We will continue to develop and improve these products, as well as introduce new ones to support our Go-Wide strategy. In five years, Ambiq may have a larger global presence. The company may also have a wider range of products that push the boundaries of low-power and high-performance computing for edge AI devices. 

About “We Are Ambiq”  

Austin Ambiq Team

Ambiq is an innovative technology company with a culture where employees are encouraged to bring new ideas and challenge the norm. Employees are not only empowered to break new ground but are inspired to be creative and be themselves. We take workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) seriously and embrace people from different cultures and ethnicities to help us innovate and grow.  

Ambiq is the industry leader in ultra-low power semiconductor platforms and solutions for battery powered IoT endpoint devices. From Austin to Shanghai, Shenzhen to Singapore, our global team members are shaping the future with their diverse ideas, talents, experiences, and backgrounds.  

Smart-Glasses-Enhancing-Sound-Smart-Audio-Glasses-smart-glasses-scaled

Smart Glasses have been around for a decade since the introduction of Google Glass. But since Google’s inception, manufacturers have been working to change how users see with smart glasses and hear. Thanks to technological innovations, smart glasses are now adding speakers and microphones to the frame, which has applications from listening to music, enhancing your entertainment, and helping users with hearing impairments. 

How Smart Audio Glasses Work 

Smart Glasses with speakers and microphones, otherwise called smart audio glasses, are like combining your wireless headphones with your glasses. They connect to your phone or smart device via Bluetooth ® so you can play your favorite music or podcasts. 

The speakers are built into the frame around your ear. This projects sound directly to your ear, allowing you to listen to audio without disturbing others. 

Because of the open design, instead of inserting an earbud or covering your ears with headphones, you can still hear the world around you. While this may sound like a hindrance, there are many reasons why this could be useful. 

Imagine going for a stroll through the city, walking in the woods, and listening to your favorite podcast. Users can retain situational awareness of moving cars or the snapping branch sound of an animal in the woods. This can make users feel comfortable, safe, and connected to what’s happening around them. 

Use Cases for Audio Glasses 

Whether you use audio glasses to listen to a podcast in the park, talk on the phone, or relax with music, there’s a style and fit for everyone. Here are some of the ways companies are enhancing sound with smart glasses. 

Bose Frames Tempo 

Bose is one of the leaders in sound for home entertainment, speakers, and headphones, so their pair of Audio Sun Glasses called the Bose Frames Tempo 1, only made sense. The Tempo allows users to listen to music or podcasts while enjoying their favorite outdoor sports. They have an open audio design perfect for cyclists who want to listen to their playlist while keeping an ear out for their surroundings. They are water resistant, so users won’t have to worry about breaking a sweat and ruining their audio. 

Ray-Ban Stories  

The iconic brand Ray-Ban knows what’s cool, so they teamed up with Meta to create the stylish Ray-Ban Stories 2, a set of smart glasses that allow users to listen to music, live stream videos, take and upload photos and videos straight to their Facebook or Instagram account. In October 2023, The Ray-Ban Stories debuted their next iteration of the smart glasses, taking user feedback to improve audio sound for higher volumes, bass, and less audio leakage, even in noisy environments. 

Smart Glasses for Hearing Loss 

Besides entertainment, audio glasses make a strong case for transforming how those with hearing impairments use hearing aids. The World Health Organization reports that 430 million people have some form of hearing loss and estimates that by 2050, that number will reach 2.5 billion people 3. Some manufacturers are utilizing the speakers and microphones in smart audio glasses for this new purpose. 

Oculadio 

The Norwegian company Oculadio 4 is developing a patented pair of audio glasses built as an alternative to hearing aids. The Oculadio uses 16 built-in microphones and a front HD camera that uses algorithmic facial recognition to detect when someone is speaking to you and amplify their voice while cutting the background noise of other conversations around you. The Oculadio was designed as a stylish and discreet alternative to traditional hearing aids. 

Xander 

While not audio glasses that project sound, start-up company Xander 5 enhances sound with their pair of smart glasses that capture speech and create subtitles that appear behind the user’s lens. The Xander glasses use noise-cancelling microphones to convert speech to text. This appears as subtitles behind the lens via augmented reality. The speech-to-text technology is built into the glasses, so users don’t need to rely on a strong service connection or smartphone to use it. This visual aid will help enhance how those with hearing loss communicate even if they wear hearing aids. 

Smart-Glasses-Enhancing-Sound-Smart-Audio-Glasses-smart-glasses

 Limitations and Concerns with Smart Audio Glasses 

While a pair of audio glasses can feel exciting and innovative, it is an emerging technology that can only be improved with time. The open-ear design means you will not be as immersed in whatever you’re listening to as you would with noise-cancelling headphones. Smart glasses are also limited by battery life, so if you use them often throughout the day, expect to run through the power. 

Users also have privacy concerns about smart audio glasses. Will the built-in microphones record conversations, or will others be able to hear what they are listening to? Many manufacturers promise security with their audio glasses. Still, the privacy concerns that Google faced 6 with their smart glasses may have tainted the perception of smart glasses and the user’s willingness to adopt this technology. Despite these concerns, manufacturers are doing their best to address these issues and create a secure and excellent experience for all. 

The Future of Smart Audio Glasses 

Smart audio glasses add a great function to the already exciting innovation of smart glasses. Advancements will keep making it sound better for users and even be able to assist those with hearing impairments. Smart audio glasses will have the potential to be on par as an everyday item in the way smartwatches are. 

How Ambiq is Contributing 

Smart audio glasses that analyze the user’s environment and adjust the sounds to create a more personalized experience can take a lot of power. If you use the features of smart audio glasses a lot, you may just be using them as regular glasses by the end of the day. 

Ultra-low power systems-on-chip (SoC) like the ones from Ambiq were designed to give smart device manufacturers more flexibility to create high-performing, feature-rich products that utilize up to 10X less power than conventional circuit designs. Our patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT ®) platform can help wireless and lithium-powered devices go days, weeks, and sometimes months on a single charge. The next wave of smart audio glasses looks brighter with Ambiq. 

References 

1 Sport Bluetooth Sunglasses (bose.com) | 2023
 2 Introducing the New Ray-Ban | Meta Smart Glasses | Meta (fb.com) | September 27, 2023
  3 Deafness and hearing loss (who.int) |February 27, 2023
 4 Oculaudio – TOGETHER WE ARE CHANGING THE HEARING AID FOREVER | 2023
 5 XanderGlasses | 2023
 6 As smart glasses come back into focus, privacy risks fog the lens | S&P Global Market Intelligence (spglobal.com) | April 15, 2021 

Smart Glasses Enhancing Sound: Smart Audio Glasses
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