Nav: Home

Illinois research team introduces wearable audio dataset

May 14, 2019

Researchers studying wearable listening technology now have a new data set to use, thanks to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate student Ryan Corey and his team.

Debuting at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) this week, the first-of-its-kind wearable microphone impulse response data set is invaluable to audio research for two reasons: First, the data includes up to 80 microphones instead of the usual two showing how is heard on different parts of the body, and second, the data is available for free under an open-access license.

"We believe hearing aids, smart headphones and all listening devices would work better if they had a lot of microphones, but most products only have two," said Corey. "There isn't data out there for more than that. Even the work that has been done with more didn't include open-access data sets."

The data set consists of more than 8,000 acoustic impulse responses measured at 80 different position on the body. The 80 microphones were tested on five different hat/headphone styles and with six different types of clothing. The sound in the recordings came from 24 different directions to simulate noisy crowds.

The group, including Corey's adviser, Professor Andrew Singer from the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL), and former undergraduate student Naoki Tsuda, spent weeks placing 80 microphones all over a mannequin and Corey himself in the CSL Augmented Listening Laboratory. They then recorded acoustic impulse responses to study the acoustics of the body and whether or not clothes plays a difference in how microphones pick up noise. The collected data is used by the team in the paper being presented at ICASSP this week, but they wanted the data to go farther.

"We've been frustrated when trying to use data sets that aren't open," said Corey. "Wearable arrays are important and more people should research it. Having this data out there will make it more convenient to do so."

Future researchers can use the data to simulate wearable microphone arrays with different numbers of microphones at different points on the body. Many humans are already wearing multiple devices with microphones, and this data could help take advantage of that. Engineers can use it to design new products and study performance tradeoffs for different applications. A few of the potential applications for the data include augmented reality, speech recognition, and acoustic event detection, among others. Without the data set created by the CSL team, each researcher would have to build their own prototypes and test them, which is time-consuming and expensive.

The presentation takes place on Tuesday, May 14, in Brighton, UK. Singer, Fox Family Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Corey hope the presentation will raise awareness of the dataset, encourage others to use it, and give them to opportunity to receive feedback.

"This is the best-attended conference for audio signal processing, so I'll be able to introduce the data set to a lot of researchers who could potentially take advantage of it, build on it, and give us feedback for future improvement," said Corey.
The data set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution License at the University of Illinois Library's Illinois Data Bank archives. Corey also has written about the dataset on the lab's blog.

University of Illinois College of Engineering

Related Acoustics Articles:

Biomechanical acoustics study sheds light on running injuries
Devoted runners suffer from a surprisingly high rate of injury.
Acoustic scientist sounds off about the location of cave paintings
One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves.
Creating a personalized, immersive audio environment
The way you hear and interpret the sounds around you changes as you move.
Talking science
In 22 years, Karin Heineman has been behind the camera for hundreds of scientific stories.
Using body noise to improve cancer detection
In passive elastography, the elasticity of tissue is measured using the body's own propagation of shear waves, which enables more effective imaging deeper inside the body in an even more noninvasive way than traditional elastography and may be used for cancer detection.
More Acoustics News and Acoustics Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...