La Table team was a bit behind schedules the past few weeks. However, a lot had been going on behind the scene.
In order to fill in the gap, we will update you on what happened since the last time we posted.
Now, you know that our main focus is about noise pollution, to do so, we documented ourselves about this topic and conducted several interviews with normal people, impaired people (hearing wise), people working in or with noisy environment. Throughout every single one of these interviews everybody agreed on the fact that noise is disturbing and something should be undertaken.
We started by learning more about hearing impaired people and the way they interact with everyone else.
Why hearing impaired people in particular? Because, we all had an anecdote about someone in our entourage that was affected by it and experiencing issues in his / her daily life.
Still, we did not focus on deaf people because they are not in between two worlds such as hearing impaired people. Deaf people cannot hear at all, so they have to use another way to communicate. Hearing impaired people can speak with non-hearing impaired people but they can encounter some difficulties depending on the context. If a hearing impaired person is standing in a noisy place or many people are speaking at the same time he or she might miss what is being said. Thus, they need to concentrate even more otherwise they phase out from the discussion causing some social exclusion.
Aside from the interviews, we found out that the amount of hearing impaired people is going to rise up drastically in the short term.
Having that in mind, we thought that prevention should be the way to go in order to have a significant impact on our environment. We question ourselves and made researches on the places where the risk of damaging our hearing long term was at its highest.
One answer is the work place. Due to the fact that we are present on a daily basis and for an extended period of time, industrial working places for example are prone to damage the hearing of the people that are working nearby.
In this field, hearing protection headphones are distributed at no cost to workers. But it doesn’t mean that workers wear them when it is needed or mandatory.
With these conclusions, we started to think of a possible product that can overcome potential hearing damage in a noisy working environment (industrial, construction, manufacturing). The source of these loud and repeated noises are the machines and the receivers are the workers.
One answers ask for the help of the noise-cancelling technology:
With this technology, we can capture the sound produced by the machines, compute it and produce the same sound but reversed. Thus, we aim to “cancel” the noise produced by the machines in the same manner newer headphones do for ambient sounds.
However, it raises few problems:
-Is it ethical to cancel noise by noise?
-Technically is it possible and reliable?
-Is it interesting for a company to switch to that technology? What are the key drivers?
-What are the rules in force in this filed (how many decibels is consider as harmful)?
-Will it nudge workers to wear hearing protection headphones more frequently?
Most of these questions will be answered in our next post!
We hope you enjoy, the catch-up post!
-> Happy New Year <-
La Table Team.