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Hearing in the Communication Society

Project description


eInclusion
Connecting people with impaired hearing

People with hearing problems are a lot closer to full participation in today’s communication society due to the efforts of an ongoing European research project.

The project team is developing new methods and techniques for situations in which acoustic interferences make it difficult to hear and to communicate. Their work is aimed not just at the hearing impaired but also the general public.

Launched in 2004 and scheduled to run until early 2009, HearCom has brought together a 30-strong partner consortium from 12 European countries, including universities, clinics, research institutes, user organisations and manufacturers in the fields of speech and hearing, telecommunications and the internet.

The partners have brought together resources to resolve the limitations of sound and speech communication caused by both hearing loss and poor environmental acoustic conditions, such as background noise and reverberation.

Testing and evaluation procedures

The researchers set out to identify and characterise the range of factors that make it difficult to hear and understand in everyday situations. From that research they developed standardised testing and evaluation procedures for use in several European languages.

Based on these diagnostic tests, they developed new rehabilitation and signal-enhancement techniques. The techniques compensate both for personal hearing disabilities and for general adverse background acoustical conditions that reduce the ability to hear.

These new techniques were used in the software and hardware that HearCom developed and include the use of wireless and fixed communications networks.

The internet plays a central role in the task of providing a common European platform for hearing professionals in the major European languages. The HearCom website provides information on hearing problems, and also demonstrates and promotes new procedures and methods for professionals.

The website structures knowledge and new developments in audiology and communication acoustics. The information is made available in separate sections, one designed for the general public, the other for professionals.

Novel body area network

One of the novel technologies that the project developed is the Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN). The WBAN includes a wireless personal communication link integrated into devices, which can be a hearing aid to a headphone, for example. A personal communication system (PCS) acts as a bridge to the outside world by phone, internet or to a public address system.

The concept of a PCS also includes the integration of a personal hearing system (PHS) into a normal mobile handset (PDA) to provide advanced audio signal processing. This concept will be used initially for hearing research to evaluate new signal processing. When the power of handheld devices is increased, the PHS can be introduced to provide clear and easy-to-understand speech for anyone.

The HearCom team is also developing an internet portal providing screening and hearing rehabilitation services for the general public and for hearing professionals. The portal will be launched as the project proceeds.

Test your own hearing

The internet services for the public include general information about hearing, hearing impairment, hearing devices, support on getting the best out of hearing devices, advice on listening strategies and information for family members of people with hearing problems.

The service also allows people to test their hearing in the privacy of their own homes. On the basis of the test, they can decide if they need to see a specialist for help.

Tools and information for professionals are available for diagnostic methods, rehabilitation procedures, developing algorithms for signal processing, website design, room acoustics and telecommunications.

Call for proposal

FP6-2003-IST-2
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IP - Integrated Project

Coordinator

VERENIGING VOOR CHRISTELIJK HOGER ONDERWIJS WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK EN PATIENTENZORG
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 375 200

Participants (29)

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 348 000
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
NXP SEMICONDUCTORS BELGIUM NV
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 116 000
Address
Interleuvenlaan 80
3001 Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
University of Zurich
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 150 000
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SIEMENS AUDIOLOGISCHE TECHNIK GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 60 000
Address
Gebbertstrasse 125
91058 Erlangen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
CARL VON OSSIETZKY UNIVERSITAET OLDENBURG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 390 000
Address
Ammerlaender Heerstrasse 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET DRESDEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 134 300
Address
Helmholtzstrasse 10
01069 Dresden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
HOERZENTRUM OLDENBURG GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 195 000
Address
Marie-curie-stra� 2
26129 Oldenburg
FRIEDRICH-ALEXANDER-UNIVERSITAET ERLANGEN-NUERNBERG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 144 000
Address
Schlossplatz 4
91054 Erlangen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
EU contribution
€ 445 000
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
RUHR-UNIVERSITAET BOCHUM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 415 700
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 150
44801 Bochum
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
OFFIS EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 125 000
Address
Escherweg 2
26121 Oldenburg
Activity type
Research Organisations
HOERTECH GGMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 396 000
Address
Haus Des H�rens, Marie-curie-strasse 2
26129 Oldenburg
Activity type
Other
GN RESOUND A/S
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 36 000
Address
Markaervej 2A
2630 Taastrup
Activity type
Other
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 162 000
Address
Anker Engelundsvej 1 Bygning 101 A
2800 Kgs Lyngby
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
APIF MOVIQUITY S.A.
Spain
EU contribution
€ 261 750
Address
Calle Isabel De Colbrand 10 - Edificio
28050 Madrid
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
NOKIA OYJ
Finland
EU contribution
€ 58 000
Address
Karaportti 3
02610 Espoo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
THALES SIX GTS FRANCE SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 180 500
Address
Avenue Des Louvresses 4
92230 Gennevilliers
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
INSTITUTE FOR LANGUAGE AND SPEECH PROCESSING - "ATHENA" RESEARCH CENTER
Greece
EU contribution
€ 186 000
Address
Artemidos 6 & Epidavrou
15125 Maroussi - Athens
Activity type
Research Organisations
NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 213 750
Address
Anna Van Buerenplein 1
2595 DA Den Haag
Activity type
Research Organisations
ERASMUS UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM ROTTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 270 000
Address
Dr Molewaterplein 40
3015 GD Rotterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Academisch Medisch Centrum bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam

Participation ended

Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Meibergdreef 9
1105 AZ Amsterdam
ACADEMISCH MEDISCH CENTRUM BIJ DE UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 360 000
Address
Meibergdreef 15
1105AZ Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIWERSYTET IM. ADAMA MICKIEWICZA W POZNANIU
Poland
EU contribution
€ 96 000
Address
Ul. Henryka Wieniawskiego 1
61712 Poznan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 336 000
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LINKOPINGS UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 222 000
Address
Campus Valla
581 83 Linkoping
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 192 000
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
COCHLEAR EUROPE LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 102 000
Address
Weybridge Business Park - Addlestone Road 9
KT15 2 UF Addlestone
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 180 000
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DEAF PEOPLE LBG
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 349 800
Address
Featherstone Street
EC1Y 8SL London
Activity type
Research Organisations