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Audio Presentation Methods for the Elderly
- Broadcast audio that can be adjusted to the listener’s ability to hear -
  Overview
  Older persons may have trouble hearing voices on TV programs when there is background sounds such as sound effects and music. We are developing various audio presentation methods that alter the program’s sound to make it easier for listeners to hear speech.
  Merits
  Although it may become easier to hear speech in a program by reducing or even eliminating background sound, the downside to doing this is that it may become difficult for viewers to follow the program, and the program may lose its sense of realism. Instead, we want to make it easy to hear speech without jeopardizing the realism of the program.
  • We are developing devices that enables the background sound to be adjusted to a level of audibility appropriate for elderly viewers by referring to minimum audible field data (the smallest sound level audible to a person).
  • Two ears are better than one in picking out a speaker's words amidst background noise, so we are investigating the usefulness of audio modification methods that project the voices of performers and background sounds from different directions.
  Future Plans
  We will continue to study how people hear speech amidst background sound and develop program production technology that can help to alleviate the hearing difficulties experienced by the elderly when they listen to broadcasts.