CLOSE
iStock
iStock

This Sound-Tracking System Is Like a 'Smoke Detector for Noise'

iStock
iStock

You may expect your neighbors to get a little noisy now and then (like when they're cheering on a football game or hammering their walls), but there’s a difference between the occasional disturbance and a racket that keeps you up every night. A sound-detecting system called NoiseAware was designed to distinguish between the two.

NoiseAware bills itself as “a smoke detector for noise.” According to Co.Design, the Wi-Fi enabled decibel sensors are plugged into walls where they listen for sound trends that fall outside the norm. Sound caused by something accidental, like a plate falling to the floor, for instance, gets ignored. But if NoiseAware senses a rowdy party or a prolonged screaming match happening in the space, it will alert its owner via text so they can handle it from there.

The product is meant for landlords who want a way to curb their tenants' disruptive behavior when they’re not on the property, but it can also be used by Airbnb hosts or even parents who want to keep tabs on their kids when they’re home alone. NoiseAware tracks general noise patterns over time without recording actual sound, which means the content of private conversations is kept private. Property owners can shop systems online—and even if you don't own your home, you can always try suggesting it to your landlord to deter noisy neighbors.

[h/t Co.Design]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
technology
The Design Tricks That Make Smartphones Addictive—And How to Fight Them
iStock
iStock

Two and a half billion people worldwide—and 77 percent of Americans—have smartphones, which means you probably have plenty of company in your inability to go five minutes without checking your device. But as a new video from Vox points out, it's not that we all lack self-control: Your phone is designed down to the tiniest details to keep you as engaged as possible. Vox spoke to Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, who explains how your push notifications, the "pull to refresh" feature of certain apps (inspired by slot machines), and the warm, bright colors on your phone are all meant to hook you. Fortunately, he also notes there's things you can do to lessen the hold, from the common sense (limit your notifications) to the drastic (go grayscale). Watch the whole thing to learn all the dirty details—and then see how long you can spend without looking at your phone.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Emojipedia
arrow
Design
New Lobster Emoji Gets Updated After Mainers Noticed It Was Missing a Set of Legs
Emojipedia
Emojipedia

When the Unicode Consortium released the designs of the latest batch of emojis in early February, the new lobster emoji was an instant hit. But as some astute observers have pointed out, Unicode forgot something crucial from the initial draft: a fourth set of legs.

As Mashable reports, Unicode has agreed to revise its new lobster emoji to make it anatomically accurate. The first version of the emoji, which Maine senator Angus King had petitioned for in September 2017, shows what looks like a realistic take on a lobster, complete with claws, antennae, and a tail. But behind the claws were only three sets of walking legs, or "pereiopods." In reality, lobsters have four sets of pereiopods in addition to their claws.

"Sen. Angus King from Maine has certainly been vocal about his love of the lobster emoji, but was kind enough to spare us the indignity of pointing out that we left off two legs," Jeremy Burge, chief emoji officer at Emojipedia and vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, wrote in a blog post. Other Mainers weren't afraid to speak up. After receiving numerous complaints about the oversight, Unicode agreed to tack two more legs onto the lobster emoji in time for its release later this year.

The skateboard emoji (which featured an outdated design) and the DNA emoji (which twisted the wrong way) have also received redesigns following complaints.

[h/t Mashable]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios