Tech giant Google has reportedly rolled out an update to its Android mobile platform that will enable devices to listen to every sound in users’ homes and alert them to certain household sounds.
The Independent reports that Google has rolled out a new update to its Android mobile operating system that enables devices to listen in on users’ homes and alert them to particular sounds. The new feature is an accessibility update added to google’s Live Transcribe function, which automatically records and writes down audio or other speech that the phone’s microphone picks up.
Live Transcribe can now detect sound including smoke alarms, fire alarms, sirens, babies crying, doorbells, barking dogs, running water, people knocking on doors, and more. The user’s Android device will then alert them to the event via a notification, camera flash, or vibration.
Live Transcribe also has a timeline feature that allows users to scroll through previous events in the day, showing all sounds that their device detected over the course of a few hours. Google stated in a blog post: “This shows when and how long the sound occurred to get a better sense of the sound’s importance, so if the dog has been barking because of a siren heard before that for 10 minutes, you can see that.”
The sound notifications use machine learning to determine odd household sounds but Google claims that the information is stored entirely on the user’s device and is not shared elsewhere.
In August, Google accidentally updated some Home smart speakers to listen to passive sounds including air compressor tanks, popped bubble wrap, glass breaking, and alarms.