The Hannover Fair 2016 was quite the occasion, as we've reported before, but it seems like a distant memory. We saw industrial automation take the centre stage at the event, however, there were other engineering feats that weren't reported on as much. One eye-catching innovation was from a company called Sorama which concerns itself with visualising sound and vibrations. They have built something that looks like you should be barbecuing on it, but it is the latest, top-of-the-line product that uses cameras and microphones to measure the sound pollution that cars are emitting on the road today. 

EIT Stock Image
Credit: Sorama

Their engineering technology has assisted other companies in reducing the sound pollution an object makes. They worked with ResQTec to create rescue and recovery tools that are the quietest on the market. An employee for ResQTec spoke said: "Communication between rescue services and the victim should not interfere. Also, high-stress levels should be avoided. The Sorama cameras show noise pollution as a heat signature on their cameras so that designers can attempt to reduce sound once the camera has shown how much of it is emitting on a particular product. 

Noise pollution can cause health problems in humans, that is why it is imperative that engineers design products - which include cars, buses, anything in transit - that do not emit enough noise to elevate stress levels or damage hearing. 

The new camera they showed off at Hannover Fair is called the CAM1K. The camera is 10.8 pounds in weight of which the microphones are 80% of the weight. That is because there are 64 microphones connected to the device and they have an even bigger CAM with 1,024 microphones attached to it. The microphones can also be found in smartphones, but here they are used to map sound and display it as if it were a heat signature (see the video below). 

Sorama's Rick Sholter said: "We've developed sound cameras to tackle noise pollution. You can use the cameras to detect riots on the streets - so that's observation of a large street in a smart city environment. But noise pollution is much more than that: cars driving in the streets make a lot of noise, and your central heating system makes noise, which is all bad for your health." 

Sorama says their potential to infiltrate the market is growing. Philips Electronic, Bosch and truck designers have asked them for the expertise in noise pollution measuring so that the future engineering designers are quieter and safer for the mass market to consume. Quieter vehicles mean less noise pollution and less stress on the highways and freeways of the world and would ensure that there is minimal noise for neighbouring areas that live close to them. 

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