Low Frequency Sirens Get Noticed

An additional siren, which emits low-frequency noise, has been fitted to several Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service vehicles. The Whelen Howler, is a big speaker inside an enclosure for protection. The operators report that everyone takes notice when the siren is used. The siren emits deep tones that penetrate other vehicles, alerting drivers and pedestrians of the approaching vehicle.

Read the article on SirenNet.

Acoustics in the UK contributes £4.6 billion annually

A report titled “UK Acoustics: Sound Economics”, by the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London, calculate that UK’s acoustics industry has a turn-over of £4.6 billion annually. This is generated by around 750 companies, and over 200 active research grants in over 47 UK universities.

New ISO standard for Soundscapes

The founder of Head Acoustics, Klaus Genuit, said that
“A soup might be delicious or not, but you can’t answer this by knowing the temperature of the soup. It is the same with restaurant soundscapes—you need a lot more information than just noise level.”

At the 177th Acoustical Society of America conference in May 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Genuit will present an application of the standard ISO 12913-3, Acoustics — Soundscape, which is still under development.

The new standard requires the use of binaural recording equipment, which Head Acoustics happens to make and sell.

Read the conference abstract on the Acoustical Society America web site.


Sound absorbing material from cigarette butts


I can see this recent article as a contender for an Ig Nobel prize

Acoustical performance of samples prepared with cigarette butts

Spanish researchers from Departamento de Física Aplicada, Escuela Politécnica, Universidad de Extremadura, measured the sound absorbing properties of cigarette butts.  Given the enormous number of cigarette butts that get thrown away, which don’t decompose very well, it is great that someone tried to find a use for waste.

Use your skull’s vibration for authentication

Researchers from the University of Stuttgart, Saarland University, and Max Planck Institute for Informatics have shown that it is possible to use a skull’s unique response to vibration for authentication. The researchers vibrated a skull with white noise and measured the response. They were able to correctly identify users 97% of the time.

See the full paper here.


LISNR Lands Intel Capital and $10 Million in Series B Funding

A startup company LISNR has secured $10m in series B funding.

LISNR technology uses proprietary inaudible sound waves called SmartTones to connect devices. It works like existing technology protocol Bluetooth, except LISNR uses sound waves and does not require hardware or maintenance. Williams says LISNR technology has advantages over Bluetooth because it requires very little battery use and also boasts synchronization with a device in less than one-eighth of a second. Additionally, because the technology uses sound that you can’t hear, LISNR leverages existing hardware and network of audio that’s everywhere around us. This “speakernet” or “The Internet of Sound,” as Williams puts it, gives LISNR the ability to leverage a massive, existing network that’s all around us. “Anywhere there is a speaker or has the ability to broadcast audio, LISNR has the ability to turn that object or media into a data transmitting medium.”

Read the press release on the LISNR web site.