This paper describes a system for accommodating active listening for persons with hearing aids or cochlear implants, with a special focus on children at an early stage of cognitive development and with additional physical disabilities. A system called the Soundscraper is proposed and consists of a software part in Pure data and a hardware part using an Arduino microcontroller with a combination of sensors. For both the software and hardware development it was important to always ensure that the system was flexible enough to cater for the very different conditions that are characteristic of the intended user group.The Soundscraper has been tested with 25 children with good results. An increased attention span was reported, as well as positively surprising reactions from children where the caregivers were unsure whether they could hear at all. The sound synthesis methods, the gesture sensors and the employed parameter mapping were all simple, but they provided a controllable and sufficiently complex sound environment even with limited interaction. A possible future outcome of the application is the adoption of long-time analysis of sound preferences as opposed to traditional audiological investigations.
Field of Science*
- 5.1 Psychology
- 6.4 Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database