Speech AI Spotlight: Visualizing Spoken Language and Sounds on AR Glasses

 Audio is a rich and diverse medium that encompasses a vast array of sounds, spanning from the nuances of human speech to the distinct characteristics of non-verbal sounds like barking dogs and blaring sirens. When it comes to designing accessible applications for individuals with hearing difficulties, it becomes essential for these applications to possess the ability to not only identify and differentiate sounds but also comprehend spoken language.

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies have revolutionized various industries. One area where these technologies have immense potential is speech recognition and language visualization. Imagine a future where we can seamlessly visualize spoken language and sounds in real-time using AR glasses. This Speech AI Spotlight explores the exciting possibilities and implications of visualizing spoken language and sounds through AR glasses.

The integration of advanced sound AI technology in such applications can greatly assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing them with visual representations of speech, including real-time transcriptions of conversations and visual indicators for non-verbal sounds. By combining the power of speech and sound AI, these applications can go a step further by overlaying these visualizations onto augmented reality glasses, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Users would be able to see and interpret sounds that they wouldn't be able to perceive through their auditory senses alone.

The significance of such technology cannot be understated, considering the vast number of people affected by hearing loss. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.5 billion people, which accounts for nearly 20% of the global population, are living with some degree of hearing loss. This number is projected to rise to a staggering 2.5 billion by the year 2050. Therefore, the development of accessible applications that leverage sound AI technology holds immense potential for improving the lives of millions of individuals worldwide.

One notable player in the field of sound AI technology is Cochl, a deep-tech startup based in San Jose. As a valued partner of NVIDIA, Cochl has harnessed the power of sound AI to comprehend and analyze various types of audio data. In recognition of their innovative work, Cochl is also a member of the NVIDIA Inception Program, an initiative that assists startups in accelerating their solutions by granting them access to cutting-edge technology and expertise from NVIDIA professionals.

Cochl's platform stands out for its remarkable capabilities. It not only excels in recognizing 37 distinct environmental sounds but has also taken a step further by integrating state-of-the-art speech-to-text technology. By combining these advanced technologies, Cochl's platform achieves a truly comprehensive understanding of the auditory landscape, enabling a deeper analysis and interpretation of the world of sound.

AR glasses to visualize any sound

The utilization of augmented reality (AR) glasses holds immense potential in significantly enhancing the lives of individuals with hearing loss, providing them with an accessible means to visualize sounds. This groundbreaking technology not only has the ability to improve their communication capabilities but also facilitates their engagement with the surrounding environment.

To enable AR glasses to recognize and comprehend human speech, automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology is employed. There are multiple ways in which ASR can be integrated into the glasses:

1.      Utilizing a microphone embedded in the glasses, the speech of a person conversing with a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual can be captured. Subsequently, ASR algorithms can interpret and transcribe the speech into text, which is then displayed on the glasses. This empowers the deaf or hard-of-hearing person to read and comprehend the spoken words.

2.      ASR can be implemented to enable the glasses to respond to voice commands, enabling users to control the glasses through their voice. This hands-free interaction provides convenience and ease of use for individuals with hearing loss.

Moreover, AR glasses equipped with ASR capabilities can display all conversations on their screens. For instance, voice directions from maps while driving can be transcribed and shown on the glasses, ensuring that individuals with hearing loss can follow the directions accurately. Furthermore, various environmental sounds, including horns or sirens from emergency vehicles and wind noise, can also be displayed visually, allowing users to be aware of their surroundings and react accordingly.

By integrating ASR technology into AR glasses, individuals with hearing loss can experience a transformative shift in their auditory perception. These glasses not only provide access to speech and sound but also empower users to engage actively with their surroundings, navigate safely, and stay informed in a world that heavily relies on audio cues.

The potential impact of AR glasses with ASR capabilities extends beyond personal convenience. It fosters greater inclusivity by bridging communication gaps, enabling individuals with hearing loss to actively participate in conversations, engage in social interactions, and access information that would otherwise be inaccessible. This technology has the power to enhance their overall quality of life and promote equal opportunities for individuals with hearing difficulties in various aspects of daily life.

The technology behind the solution

Visualizing spoken language and sounds on AR glasses involves a combination of advanced technologies working together to provide a seamless and immersive experience. Here are some key technologies that contribute to this solution:

1.      Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing (NLP): Speech recognition technology is essential for converting spoken language into text or commands. NLP algorithms analyze and interpret the converted text, enabling the system to understand the meaning and context of the spoken words. These technologies work together to accurately transcribe and process spoken language in real-time.

2.      Augmented Reality (AR): AR overlays digital content onto the real world, enhancing the user's perception and interaction with their environment. AR glasses display virtual visualizations, such as text, images, or animations, in the user's field of view, seamlessly integrating them with the real-world surroundings. This technology creates an immersive experience where spoken language can be visualized directly within the user's visual field.

3.      Text-to-Speech (TTS): Text-to-speech technology is employed to convert text or visualized language back into spoken words. This feature is particularly useful for individuals with visual impairments, as it allows the AR glasses to audibly relay the visualized language. TTS technology utilizes synthetic voices that can accurately and naturally articulate the converted text.

4.      Facial Recognition and Emotion Detection: Facial recognition technology plays a role in identifying facial expressions and emotions during conversations. By analyzing facial cues, the AR glasses can provide visual feedback on the emotional context of spoken language, helping users better understand social cues and engage in more effective communication.

5.      Audio Visualization: To visualize sounds and audio elements, AR glasses may employ audio visualization techniques. These techniques can represent sound waves, frequencies, or other audio parameters as visual patterns, allowing audio engineers, sound designers, or users to perceive and manipulate audio content visually.

6.      Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: Machine learning algorithms and AI models are crucial for training speech recognition systems, language translation models, and emotion detection systems. These models continuously learn and improve from large datasets, enhancing accuracy and overall performance over time.

The integration of these technologies enables AR glasses to visualize spoken language and sounds in real-time, providing users with a comprehensive and immersive experience that enhances language learning, communication, accessibility, and various other applications. As these technologies continue to evolve, we can expect even more sophisticated and seamless solutions in the future.Top of Form

Future of assistive technology

Developing a comprehensive AI system that can perceive sounds in a manner similar to humans poses a significant challenge. In order to enhance the accessibility of AR glasses, it is necessary to develop wearable technology that is lighter and more user-friendly.

Nevertheless, despite the current limitations, AR glasses hold tremendous potential as a medium for translating sounds and speech into visual information. By incorporating machine listening capabilities, AR glasses have the capacity to revolutionize the daily lives of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, providing them with safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable experiences.

In addition to their existing advancements, Cochl is actively exploring various use cases for speech AI technology in the context of AR glasses. One such application involves providing closed captioning for any videos viewed through the glasses, ensuring that individuals with hearing difficulties can access content without barriers. Furthermore, Cochl is researching ways to visualize multi-speaker transcriptions, enabling users to follow and understand conversations involving multiple participants.

Recognizing the importance of music as a universal language, Cochl is also dedicated to exploring methods for analyzing and visualizing music. By leveraging AI algorithms, they aim to help individuals with hearing difficulties understand the genre and emotional nuances of music at a minimum, thereby enriching their musical experiences.

Through their ongoing research and development efforts, Cochl is committed to delivering the best possible experience for individuals with hearing difficulties. By expanding the capabilities of AR glasses and harnessing the potential of speech AI, they are working towards creating a more inclusive world, where technology seamlessly empowers and enhances the lives of individuals with hearing loss.


The integration of augmented reality (AR) glasses with advanced sound and speech AI technologies has the potential to significantly improve the lives of individuals with hearing loss. While creating a generalized AI system that perceives sounds like humans remains a formidable challenge, AR glasses serve as an ideal medium for translating sounds and speech into visual information, making them more accessible and inclusive.

Through the incorporation of machine listening functionality, AR glasses can provide a range of benefits to individuals with hearing difficulties. They offer safer navigation, more convenient communication, and an overall enhanced daily experience. By capturing and analyzing sounds, these glasses can convert them into visual cues, enabling individuals to better understand their surroundings and participate actively in conversations.

Cochl, a leading innovator in the field of sound AI, is at the forefront of exploring new use cases for speech AI in AR glasses. Their research includes closed captioning for videos, visualizing multi-speaker transcriptions, and even analyzing and visualizing music to provide a richer understanding of genre and emotion. Their dedication to improving the experience for individuals with hearing difficulties exemplifies the transformative potential of this technology.

As the global population affected by hearing loss continues to grow, the development of accessible technologies like AR glasses becomes increasingly crucial. By bridging communication gaps, facilitating engagement with the world, and promoting inclusivity, AR glasses with sound and speech AI capabilities have the power to empower individuals with hearing loss and enhance their overall quality of life.

Moving forward, ongoing advancements in wearable technology, AI algorithms, and machine learning will play a pivotal role in overcoming current challenges and expanding the capabilities of AR glasses. By addressing the unique needs of individuals with hearing difficulties, we can create a future where technology enables equal opportunities, fosters greater communication, and enhances the well-being of all individuals, regardless of their hearing abilities.