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Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Pixie Dust Technologies Sign Joint R&D Agreement

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Osaka, Japan; Representative Director, President and CEO: Hiroshi Nomura) and Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; CEO: Yoichi Ochiai; hereinafter, "PxDT") announced today the signing of a joint R&D agreement for smart glasses that support the communication needs of hard of hearing people (hereinafter, "Smart Glasses for Hard of Hearing People").

In Japan, it is estimated that there are 14.6 million hard of hearing people, most of whom use a hearing aid to support their communication needs. But this handy tool is not without limitations in conferences and other settings that require one-to-many/many-to-many communication: It is difficult to hear clearly or identify who is speaking when more than one person speaks at the same time. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and PxDT have joined forces to work on issues that are difficult for conventional hearing aids to address by developing smart glasses capable of converting utterances to subtitles so that users can see who is speaking and what they are saying.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and PxDT have jointly developed element technology and prototype of Smart Glasses for Hard of Hearing People and, through interviews with people using the prototype, confirmed the social need for their development. The two companies thus decided to conclude a new joint R&D agreement with a view toward improving the display user interface and usability for Smart Glasses for Hard of Hearing People.

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Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and PxDT aim that the smart glasses with superb usability thus developed jointly will eliminate communication barriers for hard of hearing people, thus realizing a society where such people can give full play to their abilities. 

Source: Sumitomo Dainippon
Date: Sep 3, 2021

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