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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Hearable Devices: New Directions With New Functions

Date: 2020-02-25           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Akihiko "Ken" Sugiyama, Yahoo! JAPAN Research

This talk presents new directions of hearable devices with new functions, namely personal authentication, inner-ear microphone, and an interface with new services. Personal authentication is performed by analyzing a reflection from the ear canal which exhibits different characteristics for each individual. An equal error rate of 0.97% is achieved with twelve feature components with a single second signal emission. An inaudible signal may be emitted in the ear for the comfort of the user. Inner-ear microphone is a promising replacement of standard microphones. The hearable device can be used for both an output and an input device which is more robust to environmental noise than ordinary microphones. For enhanced quality of the input signal, an adaptive noise canceller may be combined in adverse environments. Hearable devices can also accommodate a new signal processing function to replace the background signal. Such a function is useful for virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) applications. Implementation of a personal authentications system on a smartphone and an inner-ear microphone on a DSP chip complement this talk.


Akihiko Sugiyama (a.k.a. Ken Sugiyama), affiliated with Yahoo! JAPAN Research, has been engaged in a wide variety of research projects in signal processing such as audio coding and interference/noise control. Prior to Yahoo Japan, he had a long career at NEC Corporation as a research engineer. His team at NEC developed the world's first Silicon Audio in 1994, a precursor of iPod. He served as the Chair of Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing Technical Committee, IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) [2011-2012], as associate editors for several journals such as IEEE Trans. Signal Processing [1994-1996], as the Secretary and a Member at Large to the Conference Board of SPS [2010-2011], as a member of the Awards Board of SPS [2015-2017], as the Chair of Japan Chapter of SPS [2010-2011], and a member of IEEE Fellow Committee. He was a Technical Program Chair for ICASSP2012. He has contributed to 17 chapters of books and is the inventor of 217 registered patents with more pending applications in the field of signal processing in Japan and overseas. He received 19 awards such as the 2002 IEICE Best Paper Award, the 2006 and 2018 IEICE Achievement Award, and the 2013 Ichimura Industry Award. He has delivered 135 invited talks in 71 cities of 27 countries. He is Fellow of IEEE and IEICE, and a Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE SPS [2014-2015] and for IEEE CE (Consumer Electronics Society) [2017-2018], and a Distinguished Industry Speaker for IEEE SPS [2020-2021].