London, UK-based Frank Swain has come up with a novel idea of creating a software that helps deaf person to listen to sounds coming through via Wi-Fi signals. The software, dubbed Phantom Terrains, currently only works with iPhones and hearing aids and turns local Wi-Fi signals into audible soundscapes.

“Unlike glasses, which simply bring the world into focus, digital hearing aids strive to recreate the soundscape, amplifying useful sound and suppressing noise,” Swain said.

The system uses the iPhone’s Wi-Fi sensors to analyse data from nearby fields.

The data is then decoded and turned into sound patterns that are wirelessly transmitted to Swain’s customised hearing aids.

So long as one has his iPhone in his pocket, it is possible to create a kind of aural map blended in with the normal output of the hearing aids.

Frank Swain, 32, worked with sound artist Daniel Jones to create the software.

The findings were reported in the journal New Scientist.