A new smartwatch app called SoundWatch offers a way for deaf, Deaf, or hard-of-hearing people to know when sounds—such as alarms, bird song, or a microwave beep—occur.

When the smartwatch picks up a sound the user is interested in, SoundWatch will identify it and send the user a friendly buzz along with information about the sound.

“This technology provides people with a way to experience sounds that require an action—such as getting food from the microwave when it beeps. But these devices can also enhance people’s experiences and help them feel more connected to the world,” says lead author Dhruv Jain, a doctoral student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

The researchers started this project by designing a system for d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing people who wanted to be able to know what was going on around their homes.

“I used to sleep through the fire alarm,” says Jain, who was born hard of hearing.

Read the full article about SoundWatche by Sarah McQuate at Futurity.