What did we do?
The goal of SilentCity is to monitor sound in given areas. The system's user will strategically place several hardware devices around their city, neighborhood, school, home or desired area. Each device collects and processes sound, sending the data to a server. From here the data is formatted to show trends based on time and place to be uploaded to the internet.
Hopefully you do. I mean, you've read this far. This system is most easily applied to a city so police can know where loud vehicles (like motorcycles making more than the legal limit on engine volume) frequent, have data to back up noise complaints, or to brag about how nice and peacefully quiet their city is to neighboring cities. However, it can also be useful for the general public looking for a quiet neighborhood to buy a house or a quiet park bench in the afternoon. Students looking for quiet, less populated study areas could benefit from our system being implemented on campuses. The system can be applied just about anywhere and be available to anyone with access to the internet. So, basically, everyone should care.
How did we do it?
Each hardware device is composed of a sound sensor, an arduino, and a raspberry pi. The arduino powered sound sensor listens to the world, captures a numerical representation of the relative volume and sends all data above a given threshold to the connected raspberry pi. From here, the data is time-stamped, marked with the location ID, and sent to our server. Once on the server, we automatically format it data and upload it to the internet.
What's next for SilentCity?
The next step would be to condense the hardware, improve the data display/website, and potentially market the project. Unfortunately, we didn't have access to a sound sensor that could go straight to a raspberry pi, forcing us to double the technology that would be out in the field. Taking out this step, the device will be cheaper and more easily mass produced. Another future goal would be processing the data in a prettier, more easily digestible way to be put on its own website (rather than a website that one of our group members already had set up). Finally, if we wanted to go big with this project, we would need to market it to cities (or interested organizations) for use to monitor sound levels and noise pollution.
What did overcome, and what are we proud of?
We are happy that it works. The whole chain of events came together quite nicely, after rediscovering how awful hardware can be. We learned how to (successfully) incorporate hardware into our process, something that was very new to us. We figured out how to make an arduino and raspberry pi play nicely (I'm still convinced that they're mortal enemies) as well as how to collect data from sound.