HLAA-MI Emerging Technologies Series #1 w/ Xander Glasses

HLAA-MI Emerging Technologies Series #1 w/ Xander Glasses

Show Video

I'm President of the Hearing Loss Association of America Michigan State Association. And I'd like to welcome you all to Emerging Tech Series. A few quick things. At the bottom if you're having any problems with any technical issues feel free to type that in the chat. If you have any questions at any time for Alex, please type those in the Q & A box. Those are both at the bottom of the screen.

To turn captions on, that's also at the bottom. You will see a CC button. Go ahead and click that and should enabled closed caption. You also have the choice of viewing the full transcript. If you have any questions, feel

free to -- questions regarding captioning or technical issues again type those in the chat. We will not answer any question that you have for Alex in the chat box. Only in the question and answer box.

Myself, Tony Ferack and Brenda Neubeck who are also Board of trustee with the Michigan State Association, the three of us will be monitoring the chat and question and answer. With all of that said, I would like to turn it over to Gerid Adams, the President of the greater Grand Rapids. >> GERID ADAMS: Hello, everybody. As Jeffrey said I'm the President of the Greater Grand Rapids HLAA Chapter. Today we have Alex Westner here from XanderGlasses. I see we have 17 attendees. Here.

We have some people from Colorado, California, and New York. I was looking through the list before. It's kind of cool to see people from OUT of state. If you're local visit our website and make sure to get our mailing list for meeting updates for the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter. For Alex audio technologist and entrepreneur and has a lot of background on product strategy.

Started out at MIT media lab. And I thought it was interesting you worked at cake walk. And remains me of messing around with audio stuff and putting together some cool beats in the basements and stuff. Brings back old memory. I see you also won a EM MEE award. And products you worked under.

That is pretty cool. And looking at Linked in and founder of Xander 2020. And we were talking before that. I thought it was preCOVID and watching some of your prototypes that you were playing around with. Unless COVID, maybe my timeline a little crazy. I think it was preCOVID that we've been talking

since before that. I will let you introduce yourself and expand on that a little bit. And why maybe Xander started in 2020 and playing with this before 2020.

>> ALEX WESTNER: So, Gerid, thank you for hosting this and Jeffrey for having me. And it's great to be able to chat with everybody about this exciting, interesting and different new kind of product that we hope can help a lot of people. What we're doing and really just to get the product that we're talking about is we're creating captioning glasses. I will put on our latest versions and look like this.

These are the glasses. And what they do have built in microphone and speech to text. When I'm out having a conversation with somebody at a restaurant or dinner table or wherever I am the microphones are going to be able to listen to the person talking to me, transcribe the speech into text in realtime and the text will be displayed kind of about three feet in front of me. What I see an integrated image of this text. Superer impose right on your face as we're talking. It's basically having subtitles for conversations or having captions for conversations that are happening in-person. We all get to enjoy captions from Zoom is.

As we're doing now. From TVs and movies, but really when we're out in the world the only option we have is our phone. And holding up your phone while you're trying to have a conversation to figure out how to use captions is really a difficult problem. So we see a lot of people trying to use their phone in the situation, instead of that augmented reality smart glasses will do that job for you.

You don't have to hold your phone and be hands free and natural and look at the person in the eyes and read their lips if that helps you. And if you need the captions they are right there for you. That is really what the product is and innovation is. I can share a little video that is like a two minute video that sort of demonstrate more about the product. You will see people have been wearing it and prototyping it and experiencing it. I can do that now and then talk about the company. What do you think Gerid?

>> GERID ADAMS: Real quick before the video. I'm in agreement. I use android transcribe on my phone and sit it down on the desk and looking at the captions and looking up at the person and looking down at the caption and breaks the flow of the conversation sometimes.

The connection that you get when you're having the eye contact and reading the body language. I can definitely see where being able to see the captions right on somebody keeps that caption more quality, I guess, the connection. So I'm sure a lot of other people are kind of nodding their heads I agree with that. So, yeah, let's play that video.

>> ALEX WESTNER: Sure. I would add the other benefit is when we have our phones out we don't know where the microphones are necessarily on our phone. How do you point it in the right way so that when you're trying to pick up what someone else is saying and pointed in the right way and doing that does the screen still make sense? That is also a problem that is really hard for people. The nice thing is having the microphone here you don't have to know anything about acoustic and just works. It's a nice thing. Let me cue up that video for people to watch.

>> GERID ADAMS: Let's go ahead with that video. >> ALEX WESTNER: All right. Make sure I got the sound. Okay. (Captioned video). >> ALEX WESTNER: All right.

>> GERID ADAMS: One of the things in this video that caught my attention was talking about the conversation being more relaxed. You know I think a lot of people don't realize that we have listening fatigue or you know listening and having visuals to supplement that can offset the cognitive load that we have when we're trying to process audio only. Whether it's when we're on the phone or watching TV or in a restaurant. They don't see us when we hang up the phone or the conversation and walk away and have the moment and decompress a little bit and have the fatigue.

Have the visual to help offset that it really makes a difference in the enjoyment and quality of the conversation. And also ensuring us we're hearing what we think we hear. There is also the confidence we may have heard what we heard, but may not be sure we thought what we thought we heard. And I'm sure there is a lot of things in hindsight when talking to people and showing them the glasses and I didn't really think about that aspect of it. So what are some of the things that you kind of kind of caught you by surprise? Oh, yeah. I didn't think about it like that kind of moments.

>> ALEX WESTNER: The first thing you said was one of the very first -- we learned the very first formal interview we do with somebody name Sue and in the video you saw. We spent 45 minutes talking to her. She was wearing the glasses. She was sort of lukewarm. And come to know her later with sort of a skeptic with technology. She was sort of, yeah, they're fine.

I thought this was really going to help. Maybe it's not as useful as we thought it was. But then two hours later she sent me an e-mail saying, Alex, normally in a conversation like that I would be exhausted. I would have a headache. Lying down. That was a lot. I don't feel that right now. I don't have a headache. I don't feel like I need to rest. I feel good. She said I didn't realize how much work I put into just understanding a

basic conversation and how much this really helped me. So she said while she didn't feel like in the moment it was that important, she realized later how much she was actually relying on the captions and that's when she decided it was really a big help. It wasn't in the moment. It was later when she realized she didn't have the listening fatigue. That was a big surprised. That led us to apply for grant research to study, you know, cognitive load with any kind of hearing loss or auditory processing disorders. When our brains are working over time. Anything helps. So we're curious to study this more for caption glasses whether ours

or anyone else making them, can we demonstrate they reduce cognitive load? Help people feel better. And help our brain stay healthy. That is so important. And studies coming out linking hearing loss to dementia and it's important to do whatever we can to keep our brain's happy. We heard from a veteran in Pittsburgh he has a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. He does

very well in one on one conversations, in a group conversation it's a little more difficult, but that is what he said. He said, he said, in a conversation I can only ask someone to repeat themselves three times before they get upset and walk away. I feel like with the glasses it gives me, it lets me hold onto those three ask, because the first time I realized I don't know what he said. I can look at the captions. Now I know what he said.

It gave him -- he expressed it as confidence. And then he described what was going on in his head and he didn't have to ask someone to repeat themselves. If he didn't hear what they said the captions would fill in the blanks. >> GERID ADAMS: Yeah. And often when people ask them to repeat themselves, there is usually a preception from the other party that maybe the other person is not the thing of hearing, but the thing of understanding. You ask them to repeat themselves and they think you're not understanding the subject.

Let me explain the subject. I get the subject. I just need you to repeat yourself. I don't want to say the word stupid, but that is how it can come off sometimes. So we're afraid to ask that question and don't want to give off that perception. And especially if we're in the work force. And the we're supposed to be the subject matter expert on something and ask the question, what.

And the person looks at you aren't you supposed to know this stuff. We know the stuff and didn't hear what you said. It's as simple of that. You have to be mindful of perception and don't want to use one of those three ask, as you said. That study you were talking about, you know, are they doing brain scans? >> ALEX WESTNER: We've talked some physicians at a medical center in Boston. We're based

in Boston. We could do all kinds of biometric measurements and you need to ask people what their own experience is. Sometimes that is more important than what their body is telling them. How do they feel?

Their idea was let's just do this lightweight and give people examples. And see and get their opinion and perception of how it feels. That's where they would start. We did also research you can measure heart rate variation. You can measure skin conductivity. There are things you can measure that are biometric biomarkers that indicate work level or stress.

The clinicians say just ask people what their experience was. So I think we will try to do both, but I think. >> GERID ADAMS: I know some people lean towards the metrics of things versus the feeling of things.

If you're trying to get funding people want to see data, statistic and raw information. Versus what people feel. So that is why I was just curious. So you know, I have a list of questions here. Some that are from myself. Some from the Internet. We will just go through some of these. So I guess the next question is what made you -- was there a turning point where you decided this was a thing you wanted to work on? You know like -- you got a pretty (inaudible comment) background and suddenly you're doing this and a moment where you're kind of like, this is what I want to do.

>> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. It was a strange way to get here which was about nine years ago now. I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. So some distortion in my central vision. And I'm doing okay. Thank God. I'm okay. My vision is okay. It's progressing very slowly, but as an audio person, you mentioned my background and audio person and entrepreneur I was thinking if I start to lose my vision I'm going to rely on my hearing.

Should I be making products for people like me who need to supplement their vision with sound? I did research. A lot of smart people working on this. A lot of great ideas. As a human I felt great. I didn't have any new ideas to add. It's called sensory substitution where you're using another sense to comp enstate for one that is diminish. I thought the idea was interesting. And my wife and I who is now my co-founder and started

looking at hearing loss. And didn't know a lot about. And looked at augment reality and glasses. And could be a way to provide visual information to supplement hearing. The more we learned about hearing loss and problem it is and how many people and shortcomings of hearing aids and cochlear implants and able to get a prototype and using off the shelf glasses and existing apps. And started to bring it to people and really it was just when we got out of COVID lock down was the first time we were able to go and try a pair of glasses with someone in person.

That's when it became very clear this was really going to be helpful and something we need to pursue for sure. Yeah. >> GERID ADAMS: So there is a lot of things for the visually impaired, but you were surprised at the lack of sensory substitution stuff for the hard of hearing, especially compared to how many people have hearing loss. >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. There was probably, I don't know, I forget, I don't know the stats

for people with low vision. I think it's in the single digit millions in the U.S. Maybe less. Almost 50 million people in the U.S. So the market was so much bigger. Nobody was working on this. There is hundreds of assistive listening devices technologies. I could only find a couple of

companies that were trying to do this. And I thought wow, this is something we have to do. I'm surprised it hasn't been done. We also learned in patent research this idea isn't new. We found a patent from 1984 that described this invention.

It's an old idea. It's kind of like an Reese Peanut Butter cup. Moment. In order to make it work you need speech to text and wearable and comfortable AI glasses. And both of those things haven't existed into the last few years ago. That is why this is

happening now and not in 1984. So it's really, we're taking the chocolate and peanut butter and putting them together and hopefully creating a lovely treat for everybody. It's the goal. >> GERID ADAMS: We had some questions from the audience. I think we will have Jeffrey pop in and ask one of the questions for us. Jeffrey if you want to jump in here real quick.

>> JEFFREY ASTREIN: We have a few questions. The first question is can the glasses be integrated with eye wear prescription? And another down that line, someone else also asked how will they work for someone who wears glasses? >> ALEX WESTNER: Yes. You can get prescription inserts. The way they work. These are the glasses. You would send in your prescription through your eye doctor and get custom glasses made for you. And slide in, I think from the bottom. And have your own prescription glasses. I will also add to that, the expectations you're not necessarily wearing these glasses all day. You wear them when you're having a conversation with someone.

For most people that is a social event, that's going out for a few hours, or going to a doctor appointment, or going to a store. Wearing them when I need them. Not all day. For some people that need them at work, these do have a longer battery life and you can. I just wanted to emphasize you don't have to wear them all day. These glasses don't need to be the end all and be all for every visual experience you're having.

So if you're quietly reading at home and not talking to anybody and maybe your reading glasses are great. So really the prescription is for when you're out socializing and we can get prescription lens. We also have found with people, usually when I meet people and they wear glasses. I suggest they take their glasses off and put these on and tell me if they're okay.

We can make the font real big. And found two out of three people are able to see the captions just fine without their prescription. Because it's not a reading IPGS PR. It's not like the text is right here.

The optics in the lens make the text look like it's about three feet away from you. So it uses your distance vision. And really sort of comfortable and the text is big. So we found that many people don't even need prescription. Some people with stronger prescriptions, yeah, they're probably going to need them. And it's possible. >> GERID ADAMS: How did these -- what do you do about connectivity? Do you have to stay connected to the Internet? Do you have offline? I know that if you're at a convention for example you go inside a convention and most of the time there is no connectivity.

I assume probably hindsight lesson, oh, crap, so what have you've done about that? >> ALEX WESTNER: I think you were asking me, are there surprises. That was an interesting surprise. Our first prototype were all cloud base and the more we tested and different situations we came across a lot of situations we didn't have a good signal. What do you do when you don't have a good signal? You have to be able to have your conversations. You can't move somewhere where you have WiFi always.

One of the reasons it's taken us longer to get the product out we've been trying to focus how do we get a good high quality speech to text technology embedded into the glasses and don't need an Internet connection? That was something that was very important based on our experience. You cannot rely on having an Internet connection or cloud connection. So our glasses will work without the cloud. If you do connect your glasses to the cloud you will have access to the most accurate server base system that you can get, but it's not a requirement. So what we're deciding is to go out with more of a hybrid approach. Where if you are tech savvy and know how to connect your glasses to these things, it's great.

You will be able to wear your glasses and connect to the cloud. If you have a hot spot and connected to the phone or whatever means you can and able to, yes, you can use that. If the signal isn't available and don't have the interest of trying to do the technology stuff and use the built in technology, which is very good. That's really what took us a little extra time to get to market.

We wanted to make sure that offline experience was good enough. >> GERID ADAMS: So theoretically these will work right out of the box. You don't have to worry about connecting to the Internet and charge it and go. >> ALEX WESTNER: Yup. They work out of the box. Turn it on and go. They charge with a USB-C cable.

And the battery life we're estimating to be about six to eight hours of conversation time. We still have to do more testing. That is our current estimate. So more than enough. Our design goal was can you get me through a Thanksgiving dinner. >> GERID ADAMS: With or without politics? (Laughter).

>> GERID ADAMS: Ask more questions from the audience here. I will let Jeffrey pop in. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: We do have a little bit. I want to ask what you were just talking about Alex a minute. When you were talking about cloud and everything. Do the glasses save the conversation and transfer? And how will people know about the potential updates if there are any on the cloud? >> ALEX WESTNER: Great question. Two parts to that. One is really are you recording conversations and saving conversations? The

answer right now we're not. We have zero privacy concerns. There is not a single word being recorded on the glasses or on the cloud. So we're using a vendor that is -- has the best security and privacy technology and reputation in the entire business. They're HIPAA complaint.

None of your audio is going to them. Not retaining anything. They're not using it to sell ads or train. For our system end to end there is not a single piece of audio that is listened to or kept by anybody. Now the second question, can I get updates? Talked about no cloud connectivity, how does it continue to improve? We are going -- the glasses do have WiFi built in. And we've experimented with some nice easy ways to help people connect their glasses to home WiFi. So that if you're at home, your glasses will connect to your home WiFi and

connected and look for our server to see if there is an update in the software and if there is, update and install it and have the best and latest features and technology in whatever we can offer. Those are good questions. At the same time I'm going to add, at the same time there is another question of well, when I go to the doctor's office it would be great if you could record the conversation and I always get lost and don't know what they're saying. That is on our road map. If that is something that people want, we can do that and want to do it in a way that still preserves everybody's privacy.

So we're going to through stock two certification and after that go through HIPAA compliance. And make sure that if the customers want to record conversations and feel safe their private information is safe for them to do that. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: So one person asked, how well do the glasses work in noisy environments? >> ALEX WESTNER: That is a great question. We were in Las Vegas in January. Very noisy. And the glasses worked well. They worked very well in the restaurant environment or the

public train station environment. If a let's say average hearing person can understand what is being said clearly then the glasses can get it too. But if the noise is so great that even an average hearing person would struggle to hear the glasses would also struggle. It's really a question the glasses are about as good in noise as average hearing person. They are not giving you superer hue abilities. That is the best way I can answer that. The good news in social situation in a restaurant

or cafe and if there is much noise the people tend to talk a little louder, which is great and helps the glasses hear better. If you go to a bar, a noisy bar in downtown city area and everybody is shouting, it's not going to work. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Let's see. Another question someone asked with a group of people and multiple

people occasionally talk, can the glasses distinguish different people? >> ALEX WESTNER: That's a great question. Not yet. It's something we would love to do. Working on it, but not yet. Soon. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Another person asked what is the cost of the glasses? >> ALEX WESTNER: We're not shipping yet. Be available around September and when we get closer to September we will have pricing information. I don't want to make guesses and give you ranges, until we feel more comfortable with where we're going.

They're not cheap. They're around the cost of average price of a pair of hearing aids. Unfortunately, they're just expensive. I wish they could be cheaper, but the display technology and the glasses

technology itself is so difficult and our cost are very high right now. It will come down over time. This is the first version of these kinds of products. The first computers were expensive. The first TVs were expensive. This is kind of the wave. We're at the beginning of a new kind of consumer device. It's going to be priced high.

And I wish that wasn't the case, but there are -- we will have monthly payment plans available. We do believe we can qualify for FSA or HFA. Workplace accommodations. Workplace accommodation. And learning more how to make it accessible to people.

Part of the reason starting the clinical trials and get FDA approval and petition insurance companies to cover us. It's a long journey, but hope to some day get insurance coverage. Could be a couple of years. These things move very slowly. We're also looking at ways to design our own technology to make the glasses much more affordable for people. Cost is a barrier. It's an issue. And trying to address it in a lot of different ways. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Another person asked can they wear the glasses while driving? >> ALEX WESTNER: Please don't do that. No, please don't wear the glasses while driving.

It's as distracting as holding up your phone and illegal in most states. If you're the driver, I would say please don't wear the glasses. You will be distracted. If you're a passenger or in the car, of course, that's fine. But driving, no. People asked me walking. I like to go walking with my spouse, my partner, I would say that's fine if you're walking in a place where you know the area, you're comfortable. You're not going to be surprised by cars coming out around the corner that you weren't expecting.

I think you have to be careful. It's almost like staring at your phone, so it can be a distraction from the world. If you're focus on a conversation with someone, it's great. You're immerse in this conversation,

but if you have other environmental things that you need to pay attention to for your own personal safety that's a compromise that you don't want to take. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Someone asked do AI captions or whatever the glasses use, do they work on a learning curve based on how much the user wears them? Or does it use its own data base/program? >> ALEX WESTNER: I love that question. In the beginning it's using an existing large model. I guess, that is all I should probably say on that. It has to do with what I mentioned previously, which is there are some people that want us to record them. And so, yeah, in that scenario if you want us to record your conversations

there is a potential for us to add the ability for us to also train on those conversations and maybe we can do better for the people that you talk to. Maybe we can improve accuracy. It's an interesting idea. That's on the road map. >> GERID ADAMS: Personally I'm on the mind set, I'm okay with my voice getting recorded or people as long as it's being used for my benefit of training and improving their model so it's more accurate for myself. As long as I can be confident that it's not being exploited for other reasons or being sold for marketing or whatever. I think a lot of people are like that. You do have some people understandably that are uncomfortable being recorded at all.

So you know you probably think it would have to be an option and opt in kind of thing. >> ALEX WESTNER: Sure. State laws about recording people. The U.S. is a one party consent law which is by default you only need one person in a conversation to consent to the recording. And because you're the one wearing the glasses and wearing the recording you count as the one person. There are about 12 states out of 50 that require two party consent in order for the recording to be legal. And so people have asked me about that. Sure, we're planning on using the GPS and people

are in one of the two party states and turn on recording, we would like to let them know, by the way, you probably should get permission by the other person, because it's the law in your state. That is already above and beyond what anyone else does. You can take your phone right now in two party consent state and start recording and Apple or Google warn you about that. No they don't. Are you breaking the law? Yes, you are.

So we're very sensitive about privacy and want to educate and also provide the best experience for whatever is going to help people. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Somebody else asked will they work with low vision glasses of color? I'm assuming maybe if they're color blinded or something. >> ALEX WESTNER: Well, I would say for low vision we can make the font as -- we can make the font very big. Like I said I actually have macular degeneration myself and I can

make the font really big and read the captions. The downsize is the larger the font the less of the context you can have, right. So if I have a huge font and only fit five words on the screen and makes it harder to keep up. So there is a little bit of a trade off with the font size, but as far as any other treatment or color treatment or any other tinting that is not available right now. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: A few people have asked may one test them out? Or is there any testing in progress? >> ALEX WESTNER: We are testing those people in the Boston area.

If you're in Boston or know anyone in Boston and happy to meet with you and do a trial, but they're too expensive right now for me to mail around the country. So not yet, unfortunately. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Someone else asked can you wear the glasses while they're charging? And how long will the battery last? >> ALEX WESTNER: You can wear them while they're charging, but you end up -- I mean you have a cable sticking out of the glasses when you're doing that. And most people don't want a cable sticking out of the glasses when they're having a conversation. At least that is our experience. I guess our competitor has that experience. I don't know. If you're comfortable wearing a cable and battery pack while you're having

a conversation, sure, you can do that. The battery does last for about six to eight hours. So you shouldn't have to. We actually have another solution. If six hours isn't enough and you need 16, we have a -- there is a battery collar that you can wear that is actually it's not as bad as it seems. And looks a nice little thing and rest on your neck. And comfortable and gives you

10 hours of extra battery life. You can get so much battery from the battery from the glasses and this accessory. I don't think you really need to wear them while they're charging. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: I think you might have touched it, but someone else asked are they covered by any insurance? >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. Not yet. That will take a while. Trials, FDA approval, getting insurance companies to care. We're starting down that road, but

could take a couple of years. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Someone else asked is there a studying at to the accuracy of the caption in your glasses? >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. There are benchmark available. In the best case scenario quiet one on one you can get 95 percent accuracy. And then any number of factors makes that number go down. So if someone doesn't speak as clearly or if there is a lot of noise or any number of reasons the number starts to drop. We found though even in the worse noisy conditions it either works or doesn't.

If the noise becomes so loud the glasses struggle they kind of don't work. If people are speaking above the noise threshold you're getting probably around 90 percent accuracy in noise. And for people like even with the best hearing aid settings many people get 50 percent word recognition in noise.

So if we're helping you go from 50 to 85 or 90 in noise that is a huge help. So we're not trying to be perfect -- we're trying to be perfect, but not going to be perfect. That is really -- we're really honest about that. We just hope that we can get you to a better place. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Another person asked someone who is in the work force can the glasses pick up speech far away to transcribe in a big meeting room? Or limited to close in-person conversation only? >> ALEX WESTNER: That's a great question.

The best way I can explain this is imagine you have a friend sitting right next to you who has very good hearing and hear the person across the room, the glasses will pick them up too. If the person across the room is speaking quietly or if the room is so big that no one can hear them from across the table, then the glasses won't. It's not necessarily how close the person is, it's the glasses will pick up speech that can be heard around four or five feet away from you. So if I'm shouting across the room and my sound wave kind of travel in the air and clearly can be heard right around you, that's great. For example, I wore them in a lecture hall and the lecture was amplified and everybody, the amplified speakers worked good.

And so I could hear the lecture just fine. And the glasses were doing well. And even though they were speakers and a lot of things happening, but because the average person could hear that it worked fine. It's similar to classroom setting, workplace setting, meeting setting, restaurant. Any situation and trying to imagine the person next to you as your hearing buddy, if they're doing okay. Your glasses will do great. If they're going, what it's so loud. That situation is going to be difficult for anything.

>> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Someone else said petite person and will it fit on a small face? >> ALEX WESTNER: Great question. We started testing with some children. I will say it depends. We've had some children, yeah, these are great. Fit fine. Some people they just find these are falling off of me, because my head is small. I really

think it depends on the person. And also how comfortable they are with having something on their face. That is another thing we've learned is people have different types of sensitivities to these technology. So you've got to try it.

I hope it works, but may not. May be a little awkward in some way. There maybe some small detail about the design and doesn't feel right for you. In the years to come there will be a lot more options for people. For now we have like one or two. >> GERID ADAMS: Yeah. If I'm not mistakes you work with Vuzix. Vuzix are these blades. >> : We switched to the shield.

>> GERID ADAMS: You're kind of limited on the factor and how things work. Most of us work hearing aids and we have limited real estate behind our ears. And Vuzix manufactured glasses for many, many, other uses and not just captioning glasses. Xander not yet anyway isn't big enough to go back and say, hey we need to make the pieces that go behind the ears thinner and smaller and most of our people in the future have some pull and making their own glasses and do something about that. >> ALEX WESTNER: We've never had a problem with anybody wearing any type of hearing aid. No one has ever reported any discomfort with the glasses.

However, with cochlear implant processers I would say one out of four people the position of the arm of the glasses happens to go over the processer. The location of the processor for people is very unpredictabled and can be anywhere relative to your nose and ear. That is what we found to be the biggest unknown. And even hard to describe. Is something people have to try out. One person veteran in Augusta, Georgia who looked like they weren't going to fit and took his processor off and put the wire around in a certain way, this works.

So, you know, I think yeah it really is so personal. So individual. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: So there is two other questions that I'm going to combine for you.

The first one is, what color is the text? And the other one is do the frames come in different colors? >> ALEX WESTNER: The text is -- so the new glasses we're working with they actually have display in both eyes which people have found to be extremely comfortable for a lot of good reasons. In order for the company to keep the cost down as much as they can and the battery life up it only has one color. Green color. Monochrome green. It's one color and it's green which works quite well in most situations. We found. It's a good choice. It's a pretty safe color.

>> JEFFREY ASTREIN: When you're saying green, are you saying the text is green? Or -- >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah the text that you see is green. And frames just come in black for now, but again we're already starting to look at future designs. There is a lot of interesting things happen with 3D printing of frames and integrating electrons in 3D printing frames. The future looks very good for more fit options that we've talked about. Maybe we can make glasses that will physically fit more people and color and style.

So it's coming. I think it's probably it's not months away, might be a couple of years away. That is my estimate. So if you're waiting for green and blue, red frames it's going to be awhile. But it's happening. The technology exist. The production process is coming together. As an industry, I'm not just talking about Xander, as an industry it's happening.

>> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Another person asked are the glasses English only or transcribe in Spanish? >> : We can do any number of language. And started testing translation and do a lot of different languages. We can -- we can't swap during a conversation, that's hard. And that happens a lot. There are many people who are bilingual and they kind of bounce between English and Spanish during a conversation that is going to be hard for the glasses, because if you add the technology that tries to detect the language slows down the captions.

So it's a trade off. Yes, we can do multiple languages, but you have to pick one for a conversation. >> GERID ADAMS: I've noticed when you do autotranslation people lose like seven seconds of a conversation while the detection is trying to redetect what the new language is. And then switch

back and lose another seven seconds. Yeah. And it doesn't work. >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: The next question we have is what is the distant the mic can pick up conversation? >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah, again, it's not the distance of where the audio starts. It's the distance of how close it is when it arrives at your head. So if somebody could be 20 feet away from me and the room is quiet and speaking loud and the sound reaches me within -- the distance of the microphone is four to six feet. So if they're far away and speaking clear and their speech arrives at my head, yeah, it's going to work fine.

You can also have somebody four feet away from you and facing the other way and whispering and not going to hear that. It's not necessarily the distance, it's how clear is the speech within a four to six foot radius of where I am. >> GERID ADAMS: We have time for one more question and then do the wrap up here. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: So the other, let's see, do you think it will be possible to connect the glasses to a directional mic. >> ALEX WESTNER: The glasses have built in microphones that we're trying to use the directional pattern. We're designing them so you don't need to. And that said we're also designing a better

version of that audio front end. What we've learn as a design goal for our user is better not to have accesser on additional microphones. It makes it a lot harder. So our design ideas, let's just try to embed the microphones and have them be more forward facing so wherever you look that is sort of the pattern where you're going.

And we're working on better technology that can do -- well, new technologies that can do a better job of that. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: So we will wrap up with Q & A. I will save a copy of those that we didn't get to and is it okay if I send those questions over to you, Alex? >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. Absolutely.

>> JEFFREY ASTREIN: I will make them available to the people that attended. We will go from there. Any last things, Gerid? >> GERID ADAMS: Thank you, Jeffrey. I will go ahead and wrap up.

One last question I noticed in there is there a delay from what you're hearing and seeing? >> ALEX WESTNER: It's less than a second. If you're using the glasses like most people, my primary is listening and my secondary is the caption, by the time your brain, says what was that? And you look at the captions they're right there. So that is about the delay. It's not noticeable. Unless you're really reading them and relying on them a 100%, you will start to observe, it takes like half a second. For most people half a second is fine.

>> GERID ADAMS: So there by the time you look for it. Yeah. Nice. So a number of other questions in there how to get in contact.

If you just want to, you know, throw up your website or talk about your social media or how people can follow you or find you or contact you? >> ALEX WESTNER: The best KWA to start is go to the website Xander.tech, from there you can get a lot of information about us. way to start is go to the website Xander.tech, from there you can get a lot of information

about us. At the bottom you will see links to our Facebook and YouTube channels and try to make a lot of videos. It's such a weird different technology and you have to see it somehow. We should probably do more on YouTube actually. But also, if you're really interested join our waiting list, because if you join our list tell us a bit about yourself. You will be the first to know when they're available. And we would love to hear from people and learn from people.

>> GERID ADAMS: I will just, I'm on the Xander mailing list and they do a fantastic job of updating with recent events and awards and grants. Just the things Xander, and get on their mailing list and you are definitely being kept up to date to the things they are doing. And do greatly appreciate your time coming on here and talking to us about this stuff. As well as everybody else's time. And your time on Thursday.

In the middle of June one of the busiest month of everyone's life. I know and appreciate everybody showing up. And especially for you Alex and answering all of these questions. Have a wonderful Thursday evening and wonderful weekend everyone. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: Thank you. And check the chat. We did postthe website in the chat before

you leave. And thank you everyone. Thanks Alex. And Letty for CART. >> LETTY FOX: You're welcome.

>> BRENDA NEUBECK: Is it okay for me to speak now? >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: One minute. >> BRENDA NEUBECK: Where is Gerid? >> : He probably left. >> JEFFREY ASTREIN: I think he left.

>> TONY FERACK: You know, but I'm not -- as attendee, I still see everybody, so we're still connected technically. So we still have people on board. So we can call it a day. And then we'll follow-up with the people the attendees we will get Zoom generates reports so we can look for any feedback from the attendees. Alex, thank you very much. That was certainly impressive technology.

And I just see, when you're talking about the incorporating hardware into the frames, I mean, Jesus just the possibilities are endless. It's like you will release the product, because it's always going to be evolving. >> ALEX WESTNER: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for running this.

This was great. You have a great group of people here. So good questions. It was fun. >> TONY FERACK: Thank you very much.

>> ALEX WESTNER: Have a good evening.

2023-06-23 13:24

Show Video

Other news