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Code name Wolverine: Alphabet’s secret project to give people superhuman hearing

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is working on a project to optimize human hearing.

The Google Mother is known for his daring projects. Project Taara, for example, tries to bring the internet to remote areas with invisible rays of light. The Waymo self-driving car division was also created ten years ago as an innovative experiment.

Now the X lab, the department of Alphabet that invariably researches such so-called moonshot projects, is working on a device that can give people supernatural hearing. NewsABC.net was able to speak anonymously to members of the research team. The project, code-named Wolverine, aims to explore the future possibilities of hearing with ultra-sensitive sensor hardware.

Wolverine

The X researchers have reportedly been working on this project since 2018. The goal is to develop an augmented reality (AR) device that combines real world impressions with digital contributions that is worn in the ears, similar to modern hearing aids. Microphones and active noise cancellation technologies could give the user superhuman hearing. Hence the name Wolverine, a superhero who – among many other super powers – has excellent hearing.

They are currently trying to isolate voices in a noisy room. That should make it easier to focus on one person, for example, when there are overlapping conversations around you.

Device or new company?

The device has already changed shape several times. The first version covered the entire ear, other models protruded above the ear cup. Recently, they have managed to develop a subtle version, according to NewsABC.net. Several people from hearing technology companies have joined the team, including engineers from Starkey Hearing Technologies and Eargo.

According to the American news website, it is quite possible that Wolverine will not produce one device, but become an entire segment with hearing technology. Like Waymo, this can then become its own company within the Alphabet Group. Another possibility is that the technology is used to improve certain wearables from Google, such as the smart wireless earbuds Pixel Buds.

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