NOISE/NOTES (Dec 2017)

NNI is on Facebook and Twitter—we try to keep our readers informed with noise news from all across the globe by highlighting interesting research and projects. Here is a roundup of some of the stories that have been making headlines. Follow @NNIEditor on Twitter to stay up to date with all noise related news.

Bose Introduces Wireless Sleep-aid “Sleepbuds”
Bose has moved into the realm of sleep-aid technology through a new partnership with Indiegogo for the development of Sleepbuds. These sleepbuds are worn in the ear and play soothing noises to block out loud background noise. They are accompanied by the Bose Sleep App that enables users to personalize the experience by customizing the Sleepbud settings.

Research Suggests Spider Web Labyrinths Are Effective at Reducing Low-Frequency Noises
New research has shown that the geometry of a spider web can be used to design new structures to reduce low-frequency sounds. In a recent study published in the New Journal of Physics, researchers propose a new type of labyrinthine acoustic metamaterials with hybrid dispersion characteristics, by exploiting spider web–structured configurations.

Nissan’s Electric Vehicles Will Sing—“Canto”
At the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan introduced the world to the future sound of Nissan’s electric vehicles. The sound is called “Canto”—derived from the Latin for “I sing”—and varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating or decelerating. The purpose of Canto is to alert pedestrians, or other vulnerable road users, to the presence of the vehicle.

NIOSH Release Update to Sound Level Meter App for iOS
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the United States has released an updated sound level meter app for measuring sound levels in the workplace. Its aim is to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss and is freely available on the iOS operating system. The app was tested and verified for accuracy (± 2 dB) against a reference type 1 Sound Level Meter at the NIOSH Acoustics Laboratory.

European Commission Assembling Noise Expert Group
The European Commission is opening up its formal Noise Expert Group beyond Member States authorities and other public entities to allow for a broader discussion on the future of the environmental noise policy of the EU. Stakeholders from industry, infrastructure managers, representatives of civil society, and representatives of groups of citizens whose health is affected by noise have been invited to apply for membership.

Ambulances in NYC Exploring New Sirens
Ambulances in NYC are testing out European-style sirens that alternate between high and low pitches in an effort to alleviate noise complaints. In the U.S. the traditional siren is called the wail, whereas the European siren seems to be more melodic to the ear.

Church Bells Silenced after Almost 250 Years
Church bells in Sandwich, a town in Kent, United Kingdom, which have rung since 1779, are to be silenced due to a complaint over noise pollution. The church bells usually chime every 15 minutes, but will now be silenced at nighttime between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00. Interestingly, over 3,500 people signed a petition to actually keep the bells in the Norman church ringing!