Sound Recognition in iOS 14 will alert users to sirens, knocking, more

iOS 14 Sound Recognition
iOS 14 Sound Recognition (Image credit: AppleInsider)

What you need to know

  • A Reddit user has discovered a new accessibility feature in iOS 14.
  • The feature, called 'Sound Recognition', will alert users if a certain sound is heard.
  • Sounds like fire alarms, smoke alarms, dog barks, and car horns will be recognized.

Apple has added a new accessibility feature to iOS 14 that it did not have the time to go over during the keynote, and it is sure to be a huge benefit for those hard of hearing.

Reported by AppleInsider, Reddit user Jsmith4523 posted a video last night that showed off a feature called 'Sound Recognition", which will detect a number of different sounds that the user may want to be alerted to.

"The list of sounds it can pick up include animals like cats and dogs, household sounds including running water and appliances, and doorbells and door knocks. The system is also sophisticated enough to listen out for people shouting and baby cries, and can even distinguish between alarm sounds for fires, smoke, and sirens."

Once a sound is heard, the user will receive a push notification alerting them that their iPhone detected a sound that they asked to be notified about and what sound it was.

According to the description of the feature, Apple is currently advising users not to rely on the feature in an emergency situation.

"Descriptive text for Sound Recognition advises the iPhone "will continuously listen for certain sounds, and using on-device intelligence, will notify you when sounds may be recognized." It goes on to highlight how it should not be relied upon in cases where the user may be harmed or injured, emergency situations, or for navigation."

The feature is likely to be a benefit to those who are hard of hearing. It appears that the feature is currently limited to the iPhone and does not integrate with other devices that would detect sound, but it would be interesting to see if eventually, the feature could turn your other HomeKit devices, like a camera, into another source to detect the sounds you want to be notified about.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.