Monday, June 11, 2018 by Zoey Sky
While trains in Singapore are a convenient way to travel, living near train tracks could mean that you sometimes have to suffer through the constant noise of trains passing by.
However, researchers are currently working on noise reduction technology that could soon help address this issue.
According to a team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the noise-canceling device that they’re currently developing could benefit countless individuals who reside near busy roads, construction sites, or train tracks.
The NTU researchers explained that the device, which can be mounted on window grilles, can reduce at least 50 percent of noise from the surrounding environment. The noise-canceling device can also work even if windows are wide open.
The concept behind the technology used to develop the device is not new. However, this marks the first time that a noise-canceling device is being used on a fully opened window, noted the researchers.
Earlier studies in European universities have only experimented with bulky devices used on partially opened windows.
The noise-canceling device is still at the prototype stage, and it was made with technology also used for high-end headphones that cancel external noise. The researchers adapted the technology so the device could be used in large, open areas.
The device comes with a special sound-emitting mechanism that acts as a speaker. The mechanism is hooked up to a processing unit. When the device detects noise, it immediately emits “anti-noise” sound waves that can counter the invading noise.
Thanks to the “anti-noise” soundwaves, any incoming noise is turned into “a softer ambient sound” before it enters living spaces.
Professor Gan Woon Seng, director for NTU’s Centre for Infocomm Technology, shared that busy traffic that has a decibel level of 75 can be reduced by about 10 decibels to 65 with the noise-canceling device. (Related: Noise pollution is bad for your health: Tips for how you can mitigate background noise to protect your neurology.)
Like a small portable Bluetooth speaker, the device is made up of several units that are installed in one area to form a grid-like pattern on a window grille.
Professor Seng added that researchers are working to improve the technology because they want to make the device smaller and more cost-effective to produce. The researchers want to continue testing the device in commercial or residential areas for at least two to three more years.
He concluded, “Compared to [noise-cancellation headphones], what we have achieved is far more technically challenging as we needed to control the noise in a large open area, instead of just around the ear.”
While NTU researchers are currently working on this amazing noise-canceling device, here are some tips to naturally reduce noise levels in your home:
You can read more articles about research focused on minimizing noise pollution, like this noise canceling device from NTU, at Pollution.news.