WideNoise

About EveryAware and WideNoise

EveryAware is an EU project intending to integrate environmental monitoring, awareness enhancement and behavioral change by creating a new technological platform combining sensing technologies, networking applications and data-processing tools. Thanks to the new mobile technologies (smartphone, tablet, etc.), people will be able to monitor the pollution of their environment (a street, a room, a car) in any place and at any time.

Noise is pollution as well

We live every day surrounded by all kinds of sound around us. We are accustomed to this background noise, but in the end we feel relieved when, maybe in a park, that stressful noise disappears. WideNoise is an iPhone and Android app that helps you to monitor the noise pollution in your environment and understand the soundscape around you. Originally developed by WideTag Inc. in 2009 for iPhone, WideNoise underwent a thorough redesign thanks to a partnership between EveryAware and WideTag that led to the current version 3.0.

Check noise levels

With WideNoise you can monitor the noise levels around you, everywhere you go. You can also check the online map to see the average sound level of the area around you. Do you live in a "sleeping cat area" or in a noisier "rock concert area"? Are you able to find the most silent spot in the city? And that park is really as silent as you think?

The scientific framework

EveryAware is conducting a series of case studies focusing on a variety of pollutants. WideNoise is the instrument to address the issue of noise pollution that allows the compilation of reliable pollution maps as well as the monitoring of the evolution of people's awareness about environmental issues. A team of scientists is working on:

  • providing a framework to focus the technological development of the project and create an opportunity to test out future and emergent technologies, thus enabling the generation, processing and redistribution of the individual sensor data for each of the cities;
  • allow for the collection of large quantities of highly detailed data on pollutants across a wide geographical area and across time and the examination of the quality and quantity and spatio-temporal coverage of the data captured;
  • provide data to support the generation of highly detailed pollutant models for the test areas and permit the validation of these models against existing approaches; (bullet) allow the further development, internationalization and cross-cultural testing and comparison of community recruitment and engagement protocols;
  • examine motivation for participation amongst community members;
  • monitor behavior change resulting from the prompt access to personalized information. To enable these comparisons to be made, the automatically captured noise data will also be augmented with social and subjective data gleaned from real-time tagging and from information provided through the project website by users.

A team of scientists is working on the aggregated results about noise pollution.

Our noise detections calibration

We've used a sound meter to calibrate the microphone against pink noise that is a form of noise similar to the sounds that our ears perceive the best. After that, we had to compensate for the limits of the physical microphone, which is calibrated to filter the human voice against the ambient sound. The result is accurate within the device's hardware limits, but while it's a great tool to have an indication about perceived noise, it shouldn't be used for dB readings that require high accuracy.

Twitter and Facebook

Noise pollution is something we often overlook. That's why we added the ability to use Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about it! Check the stream of people detecting noise all around the world here or the map.

Contributors

WideNoise has been developed by WideTag Inc. Version 3.0 is provided by WideTag and the EveryAware consortium as GitHub.

Credits

EveryAware project

WideTag

  • Leandro 'Leeander' Agrò, vision.
  • Davide 'Folletto' Casali, design.
  • Aaron 'Babele' Brancotti, original sound code.

Development

  • MakeMeApp, Apple iOS development.
  • CodeMachine, Google Android development.

Support

For support concerning the web page or the smart phone application please contact: widenoise@ubicon.eu

FAQ

We collected some frequently asked questions and answered the for you.

Can I download my personal data?

Yes, you can download a KML file containing your personal data from your personal data page by clicking the button "Download KML". The data page can be accessed clicking the right most symbol in the navigation bar.

You need to be registered to access this page. If you have not registered yet, register from the WideNoise application on your smart phone (use the "OPEN PERSONAL PAGE" button in the "Share" view) to automatically associate your data with the account you are creating.

If you have already have registered, login from the WideNoise application on your smart phone (use the "OPEN PERSONAL PAGE" button in the "Share" view) and follow the instructions to link the WideNoise id to your account. The data will then be accessible from your personal data page.

WideNoise History

The WideNoise application for raising awareness of noise pollution started out as a prototype in the context of the "Internet of Things" and is now used and further developed by the European research project EveryAware. Below we will highlight some of the major turning points in WideNoise's history.

Internet of Things

WideNoise's history starts at WideTag, the OpenSpime technology company. They were working around the concept of spimes, building a few prototype applications that would use their - then in-development - platform, WideSpime, targeted to massive data collection.

While they were working on sensors (CO2), green devices (smart energy meters) and other forms of internet of things, they designed and developed a very simple application that could be scaled efficiently and do some load on the WideSpime infrastructure.

WideNoise 1.0 was born, released on the then new iPhone 3G.

WideNoise 2.0

In a pure agile way, WideTag started collecting feedback and added a few features to WideNoise. On one hand it was born as a prototype, but on the other hand it was also a example of a smart sensor that was efficiently raising people awareness about noise pollution in a very simple and direct way.

That's why they added social features to allow the user to tweet and the ability to create widgets to be included on blogs and web sites.

WideNoise 2.0 was then a quite impressive solution: WideTag managed to keep the interface simple, performing basically all the work at the push of a button, while in the back they analysed the data, aggregated it through their platform and made it available through widgets and social networks.

WideNoise 2.0 got lots and lots of interest, gaining visibility on major newspaper, being cited in the Top 10 Internet of Things object of 2009 by the New York Times and Read Write Web, and being listed in the ADI Design Index 2010 worth a nomination to the world's most prestigious design award, Compasso d'Oro.

WideNoise 3.0

WideTag was contacted by the European research project EveryAware in the summer 2011. WideTag agreed to develop WideNoise 3.0 for EveryAware, add the Android version and release the source code of both applications as open source.

While the old rusted style was in many ways a trademark that distinguished WideNoise 2.0, WideTag decided to go through a full redesign for us and make it more like a professional tool, with a sheer metal surface and orange lights. With our cooperation they added some additional features like the slider to try and guess how much noise is there and the panel to add more details about the sampled noise itself.

Now all the measurements recorded by the WideNoise application are being sent to the EveryAware server where they are used for scientific analysis.