Google parent company Alphabet is working on tech that can give users the superhuman hearing abilities we’ve always dreamed of. Codenamed Project Wolverine, the Alphabet X project will attempt to bring super hearing to customers through a custom in-ear sensor.
Reported by Business Insider, the Marvel moniker-ed hearing aid has been long in-development at Alphabet. Proposed as the ”future of hearing, Google is aiming to deliver an accessible enhanced audio device that is more than just a traditional hearing aid.
How Project Wolverine will help people hear
Google’s Project Wolverine is designed to be an in-ear audio enhancement tool. Using a powerful algorithm, users will be able to focus on an individual speaker in a cluttered conversation.
Through extremely powerful microphones, the Wolverine project uses enhanced noise cancelling to highlight speakers you wish to listen to. This “sound separation engine” allegedly automatically adapts to the wearer’s environment to enhance hearing in multiple scenarios.
While not discussed in the original piece, Project Wolverine would undoubtedly help those who have trouble focusing on group conversations. By allowing a user to dial in to the speaker they wish to focus on, the tech could become a key accessibility tool in the future.
When will the Google tech release?
Project Wolverine is currently deep in development, but no official release window has been announced at the time of writing. Google has reportedly been working on revising the tech since 2018 with aims of creating a smaller device.
In the past few years of development, Google aimed to shrink the device. Starting as earphones that covered the entirety of a user's ear, Wolverine has already become simple protruding earbuds. Backed by engineers from Starkey Hearing Technologies and Eargo, the project appears to be on track.
Alphabet isn’t planning for the first edition of the Wolverine technology to be the last. The company is already looking into multiple different devices for multiple different use cases. Instead of being a Jack of All Trades device, Google wants to provide different earpieces for everyone's needs.