Gadgets for humans

Google will now alert you of household sounds through Android notifications

Sound notifications

Google is rolling out a handy accessibility feature that should make life easier in your home  — notifications about household sounds.

Once you enable this feature, your phone will recognize sounds like the doorbell, a barking dog, and running water. This functionality is powered by Google’s Live Transcribe technology, which was originally used only to convert speech to text. But now, it can also identify sounds around you.

While the household sound notifications are targeted towards people with hearing loss, it can also alert you to incidents if you’re wearing headphones and listening to music or podcasts.

Apart from displaying these alerts on your Android phone, Google can send them to your Wear OS watch too.

The Big G says this feature works completely offline through on-device machine learning, and currently, it detects 10 types of sounds including baby sounds, running water, smoke and fire alarms, and knocks on a door. This new feature will work on all devices running Android 5.0 or above through the Live Transcribe app.

Google’s not the only company to roll out this feature. Apple has a similar sound detection feature in its accessibility suite in iOS 14. However, the search giant also gives you a timeline of events for notifications in the past.

Google household sound notifications timeline

This feature is the part of Google’s recent update of accessibility features in which it also unveiled Action Block for ‘speaking’ common phrases such as ‘Yes, ‘No’, and, ‘Please help me.’ You can go to Action Blocks on your phone, and tap on the phrase you wanted to speak out loud.

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Published October 9, 2020 — 05:41 UTC