Echo location. Two very common words among those of us who rely on our ears to get around. In fact, one particularly ambitious individual created an entire technique and class devoted to the idea. There are even devices which attempt to capitalize on sound in order to provide cane travellers with more detailed information about objects, such as overhead obstacles, ledges, and that sort of thing. But what if, given the right technology, we could take echo location even further and expand our ears, so to speak.

Introducing the Jabra 3D Audio Intelligent Headset. Jabra is well known for making quality audio devices and headsets, and they have decided to step up their game. According to a recent report, this headset utilizes several hardware and software components, including built-in intelligent software, an app for mobile devices, 3D audio technology, sensors and location detection, to create a highly accurate auditory environment. While the capabilities of this headset are still being tested and explored, it is speculated that this technology can be used to assist the blind and visually impaired on travel routes and exploratory navigation through an app called Cities Unlocked. This technology is able to not only pick up ambient sounds in the user’s immediate surroundings, but can provide audible guidance to any destination by capitalizing on the GPS software of the user’s smartphone. One way in which a blind or visually impaired person might use this app is to get audible directions to a favorite restaurant or entertainment spot. The user can gain additional information about the surrounding area while walking, and location sensors and direction-sensitive positioning sensors allow the user to hear, in 3D audio, precise positioning with accurate sounds on all sides. While wearing the headsets, it might be possible for the user to receive cues faster and with fewer errors than if they needed to rely on several pieces of equipment for the same information.

While this technology has some major advantages and can prove to be an extremely useful tool, there can also be some potentially dangerous downsides. Firstly, the user must be wearing the…

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