Emergency alert systems that rely on sound can pose a threat to those who have experienced hearing loss or to those who are hard of hearing. Missing these alarms and alerts could be life-threatening.
The Toronto Metropolitan University Humber College, and IEEE Women in Engineering Toronto Section have worked with the Canadian Hearing Services Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre to create an emergency alert system for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
The device works with microphone sensors, a central hub, and a web app. The microphone sensors are triggered by a loud emergency alert sound, sending it back to the central hub for analysis. Once the sound has been analyzed, an alert is sent to an app on the user’s phone.
The app has personalization options, allowing users to create an account and specify which room is which. It also has a dashboard. For those who do not use smart devices, the app has an option for families or caregivers to monitor the safety of their loved ones. This can also allow for more independence in older populations.
With scheduled pilot time, the device will continue to be improved over the coming months, and more students will be able to work on the project over time.
This project has been given a grant of $6,000.00 as part of EPICS in IEEE’s Access and Abilities Competition.