Noise canceling device prototype silences city sounds through windows

Noise canceling device - City view from window

The tiny orb dims the background sounds of trucks and traffic, horns and sirens, among others.

Though still in prototype form, a new noise canceling device has the potential to provide peace and quiet to people living in the city.

This sleek little gadget sits on an urban window and reduces the background sounds considerably.

The idea behind this noise canceling device is that city life can be notably more peaceful than it currently is. Many people living in cities find that all the traffic and people sounds force them to keep their windows shut in order to achieve a bit of peace and quiet. However, the Sound Eclipse prototype could make it possible to open the windows while still reducing the city sounds.

The prototype was unveiled by a company called Kristil&Shamina. To function, this tiny gadget simply hangs in the open window. On its back, there is a microphone that captures the sounds from outside. On its front, there is a speaker. The speaker faces the room and emits sound waves that match and invert the waves produced by the sounds outside. In essence, the two waves cancel each other out.

Noise canceling device - Finalist - Award

The noise canceling device is a finalist for the Lexus Design Award, with a winner announced soon.

The device designers drew their inspiration from their own experience living in a city. “We live in a big city, there has always been a lot of noise,” said company co-founder Kristina Loginova. “Recently I began to get more tired, [I had more] headaches, and my memory got worse. I noticed that it was affected by noise, especially at night or in the morning.”

Chronic city sounds have been shown in studies to lead to cognitive development impairments and raised stress levels.

Though the most direct solution would be to close the windows. However, according to Loginova, the drawbacks of that strategy – such as reducing fresh air circulation – were considerable.

With the Sound Eclipse noise canceling device, the windows can be opened while the sounds from outside are substantially reduced. The sounds aren’t entirely eliminated, but testing has shown that they are reduced by as much as 15 decibels – about the same as wearing noise-canceling headphones.

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