New technique can enable super hearing in humans: Study
The new audio technique can track bats in flight and help localize sources of ultrasonic sound. The researchers have developed a new technique that enables people to also hear ultrasonic sources that generate sound at frequencies above 20000 Hz with the simultaneous perception of their direction.

Researchers describe a method whereby an in-situ listener with normal binaural hearing can localize ultrasonic sources in real-time; opening up new applications, such as the monitoring of certain forms of wildlife in their habitats and man-made systems.

In this work, an array of ultrasonic microphones is mounted to headphones, and the spatial parameters of the ultrasonic sound-field are extracted. A pitch-shifted signal is then rendered to the headphones with spatial properties dictated by the estimated parameters. The processing provides the listener with the spatial cues that would normally occur if the acoustic wave produced by the source were to arrive at the listener has already been pitch-shifted.

The results show that the localization accuracy delivered by the proof-of-concept device implemented here is almost as good as with audible sources, as tested both in the laboratory and under conditions in the field.

Scientific Reports
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