New tech to create better classroom environment

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Nuance Hearing, a leading provider of focused listening technology, has created the Voice Selector Study, a new technological solution to help young people concentrate in noisy and distraction-filled classroom environments. Developed by a team of technology and health experts, the device utilises Nuance’s world-leading advancements in tech to support focused listening.

The Voice Selector Study aids attention and focuses in the classroom by cutting through background noise, honing in on the speaker and tuning out everything else. Aimed at any pupil who is struggling to concentrate in learning environments, the device is also useful for those with ADHD and other sensory and auditory processing difficulties. Clinical study showed significant improvement in the ability to listen to the teacher in a noisy classroom.

Nuance Hearing (www.nuancehear.com), a leading provider of focused listening technology, has launched the Voice Selector Study, a new technological solution to help young people concentrate in noisy and distraction-filled classroom environments.

The device creates a better learning environment for young people, helping them to listen to the teacher and follow instructions while tuning out other distractions. A clinical study* which tested the efficacy of the Voice Selector Study in classroom settings for 31 adolescents with ADHD showed highly significant improvements in the ability to focus on and listen to the teacher and in the ability to ignore distractions in the classroom.

Eight built-in microphones automatically track the teacher’s (or the dominant speaker’s) voice as they move around the classroom, reducing the level of background noise and enabling the user to focus with less cognitive effort.

Nuance Hearing’s cutting-edge beamforming technology gives a world-leading signal-to-noise ratio of 15db, (the relative reduction of overall noise in relation to the target sound), which compares to an industry-standard in real-time applications of 4-5dB.

The Voice Selector Study is an easy-to-use, small tabletop device that works with any wired headphones. In addition to automatically tracking the dominant speaker, the user can also manually select up to two dominant speakers to track.

Aimed at any pupil who is struggling to concentrate in learning environments, the device can also be particularly useful for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing difficulties (APD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who tend to struggle more with concentration in classroom settings. ADHD is estimated to affect about 2-5% (around 1 in 30) students at school. APD is estimated 0.5-1% of school aged children.

A clinical study which tested the efficacy of the Voice Selector Study in classroom settings for 31 adolescents with ADHD showed highly significant improvements in the ability to focus on and listen to the teacher and in the ability to ignore distractions in the classroom.

Tami Harel, Director of Clinical Research at Nuance Hearing, said: “Classrooms nowadays can be very noisy and full of distractions. It is difficult for everyone to tune in on the teacher in a noisy environment, but for some children this task is even harder. Some children struggle to concentrate and focus on the teacher, and this effort affects their ability to learn and participate in the classroom. We’re proud to launch the Voice Selector Study to help children ignore the unwanted noise and distractions and focus on the teacher. We believe this can facilitate learning and empower students.”

According to the ADHD Foundation, the ‘core symptoms’ of ADHD are usually present before the student is 12 years of age and can persist throughout their school life. ADHD students typically have a short attention span and so can find it hard to concentrate and learn, especially in group situations. This can impact on their education and many of these students underachieve at school. Among children aged 6–16, there is a clear association between ADHD symptoms and academic attainment. Furthermore, recent research has found that medication alone does not help children with ADHD to learn.

About Nuance Hearing

Nuance Hearing, was founded in 2015 with the fundamental goal of developing a technological solution for the ‘cocktail party problem’ – the difficulty of understanding speech in noisy environments.

Over the years, the company has made significant technological developments and algorithmic advancements within the framework of acoustic beamforming, becoming a world-leader in directional hearing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

These developments have led to an impressive array of collaborations with business partners in the hearing aid and assistive technology industry, clinical researcher scientists, educators and EdTech advocates. This includes a table microphone, designed to be used with hearing aids and developed in partnership with hearing aid industry leader Starkey.

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Nuance Hearing

Nuance Hearing, was founded in 2015 with the fundamental goal of developing a technological solution for the ‘cocktail party problem’ - the difficulty of understanding speech in noisy environments.

Over the years the company has made significant technological developments and algorithmic advancements within the framework of acoustic beamforming, becoming a world-leader in directional hearing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

These developments have led to an impressive array of collaborations with business partners in the hearing aid and assistive technology industry, clinical researcher scientists, educators and EdTech advocates. This includes a table microphone, designed to be used with hearing aids and developed in partnership with hearing aid industry leader Starkey. 

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