The ability to focus and our quality of life can be attributed to the sounds we’re exposed to. Random, loud noises can have a deleterious affect on health, creating more stress in a subject, and leading to long term concentration issues.

With all of these new devices in our home that have microphones, it makes sense that they should provide some feedback on how we’re living. This doesn’t need to include speech information.

With the Ubi, we were able to poll microphone level every few seconds. The user could then create rules around this information, for example, having the device yell “keep it down” if it detected a sound over 80 dB. By graphing time vs sound, you could get a sense of how long different appliances ran, document the construction noise from your neighbours, or see how much of an effect opening or closing the window at night could make to your sleep quality.

Beyond just sound level, sound analysis could identify things like glass break, alarms, etc. What if other events could be tagged? For example, a door opening, foot steps, or a car horn? This information might give a better understanding of the activities someone is doing in their home to help glean a better picture for an AI recommendation.

There are a lot of unexplored capabilities in the devices that millions are now putting in their homes.

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