Announcing the CISE-funded Hearables Challenge

May 17, 2017

The Hearables Challenge sponsored by NSF/CISE seeks solutions, such as algorithms or methods, that could improve the clarity of conversation in noisy environments. A total of $146,000 is available for cash prizes. 

While some hearable technologies (i.e., hearing aids and assistive listening devices) can enhance hearing for many individuals, there are situations where these technologies do not perform optimally.  One particularly challenging situation for people with hearing impairment is understanding conversation in a noisy environment such as a restaurant.  Inability to hear clearly because of background noise and intermittent peaks in noise makes following a conversation difficult.  Amplification of speech sounds will also amplify the background noise.  The Hearables Challenge seeks solutions that could improve the clarity of conversation in noisy settings.

To learn more, see

Note that submissions are being accepted on a third-party site.  Please see the external site for instructions on how to submit to the Hearables Challenge at:

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HearablesChallenge.



Program Contact: Wendy Nilsen,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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