We are back with an update !

By Tobias Tingström May 27, 2020 Edition CHIC 2019-2020Discover Canary project

We have been gone for a while and an update is long long due.

Let’s start with a small refresher:

Our device combats hearing loss for workers in the building field by flashing when the sound level is above 85db. The flash aims at alerting that workers should wear a hearing protection from now on.

Since, our device is not called « device » anymore but « Canary » !

Why Canary ? A long time ago, miners used to carry a canary in a cage while mining. Why you may ask ? Because, if a gaz leak appears, the canary due to his smaller size will die first alerting the miners that the should get out of the mine as soon as possible otherwise it may explode (Coup de grisou). Like that, you have the back story and a story to tell everyone at the next family meeting.

Canary is design to protect the worker individually by alerting him / her when the soud level will damage his/her earing long term. 85db may not sounds much but if you’re exposed for an extended period of time, you will suffer from serious hearing loss from the age of 50. In order to really effective, Canary needs to be as close as possible to the ear of the worker while being able to fit different types of outfit (jacket with or without pockets, simple t-shirt, hoodie). That’s where the design part of our team came up with the idea of a clip that will clip to any piece of fabric.

Fun fact: a prototype was created with the aim of testing the interaction between the object and the user. Every single person that came across the prototype took the proto and within seconds clipped it to his/her collar, pocket or fabric. ->We knew that we where onto something.

Someone mentioned that Canary may be perceived as a spy that may track what people do or say. Obviously we don’t want Canary to be compared to HAL 9000 (2001 Space Oddity). So the idea was to work on transparency:

we partially tackle that by working on the design by making the case translucent. The idea behind it that if the user is able to see some main components, she or he will be less afraid of it.

Additionally, we created an app that will help the user to see the data that is retrieved. This app will display the data gathered by Canary throughout the day, thus at any moment the average sound level per hour that a user was exposed to can be see. The data enables you to see the different sound levels for every device or for a group of device

With these new inputs, the customer journey needed to be changed:

Let’s take for example Jeremy, Jeremy is 34 and works in the building trade. More especially, he is an electrician, all day wiring building working hands in hands with bricklayer, painter, plumber.

A typical day for him with Canary will be as follow:

He arrives to work at 7am, after a meet up with his colleagues and boss he is dispatched to a construction side in the neighbourhood of Pully. Before leaving the workshop, he picks randomly a Canary from  Canary rack, clip it to his jacket’s collar and went on with his day.


As soon as he arrives at location, he is greeted by a friend of him named Antoine. Antoine informs him that he will work in the room next to Jeremy and it may be loud. Jeremy say thank you and start working on a wiring job while Antoine makes a bloodletting in a wall. After a few seconds, Jeremy’s Canary starts to flash, all of a sudden, Jeremy remembers that he should wear hearing protection and go grab them in his Van.

At the end of the day, Jeremy goes back to the company workshop and clips Canary back on the rack for charging and Jeremy leaves the workshop for his home. But the job of canary is not done, as soon as Canary is clipped on a rack, the average sound level for each hour is computed and transferred to the main server of Canary. So that, the next day, Jeremy’s manager with his username can see what was the average per hour to what sound level the workers of the section were exposed to.

With this customer journey you can have a better idea of how Canary interacts with the user and the customer.

The use of data doesn’t stop here, because again, some organisation like the Suva is interested by having a deeper understanding about the fluctuation of sound exposure for a worker. Moreover, interested by a product that can improve the safety of workers.

That last point leads us to a important point of how we will promote Canary. Suva being in close relationship with companies can when it’s relevant to use Canary advice the use of Canary. Canary will be available for sale on our own website and through some third parties like EM, Würth, Rajapack.

Let’s stop here for the first part of the update ! Second part is coming.