Google on Thursday announced a new Android accessibility feature called Sound Notifications. In a blog post co-written by artificial intelligence product manager Sagar Savla and accessibility product manager Sharlene Yuan, the company said Sound Notifications is designed to alert users with hearing loss when various sounds occur, such as when a kitchen appliance beeps or water runs. Google cited a World Health Organization statistic that some 466 million people worldwide, 34 million of which are children, have “disabling hearing loss.”
Sound Notifications are meant to “make important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations” on Android and Wear OS devices, according to Google. They also note the feature has relevance beyond hearing loss; it can be beneficial to those who are temporarily disabled due to injury, or even simply wearing earplugs or headphones.
Google says Sound Notifications was