Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First draft of the sound sensing glasses

Here's the first draft of our idea we came up with in class today:

Name: Not sure yet, SoundSense?

1. What is it?
An attachment for glasses, or at least using the frame of a pair of glasses, to mount LED's on each side of the wearers head, which are then wired to microphones on each side of the head.

The microphones pick up sound levels, and depending on a sensitivity switch on the side, will change brightness for each LED respectively.

In order to only show sounds beside and behind the wearer, the microphone should also have a small cone to direct sound input from the sides and back.

2. How do we build it?
I think we can do this with some basic electric components, including 2 microphones, 2 LED's, some wires, and a variable resistor. We have some contacts who know electrical stuff that might be able to give us some insight into the circuitry.

We will also need to decide on battery size, I'm currently thinking two watch batteries on each side of the glasses might work, but I'm not sure how much power will be drawn by the microphone and LEDs.

Lastly, we need to make sure it looks good, so once we get the components working we can modify the design to make it more discrete.

3. How do we test it?
We should probably test it by using ear plugs, if it can alert us to nearby cars/trucks, or other loud noises behind and beside us, then it should be useful for people who are hard of hearing.

It should also avoid being too distracting

4. How do we market it?
I think we should expect this to be a successful product if it works, so maybe we should prepare some marking plan and basic advertising videos and material. Maybe we can help the world with this!

And finally, here's a kind of "first concept" sketch, very rough but showing the placement of important components:


  1. Simple enough. if you need us to buy or bring anything on Friday let me know by texting me :)

  2. What time are we meeting on friday again?

  3. I think it was 4pm at McMaster, and thanks Tasneem, so far I've bought:

    2x pack of 5 super-bright LEDs + 2x 3V watch batteries @ around $3 a pack
    1x metal sunglasses for testing with @ $5
    1x pack of 12 ear plugs good for -29dB noise reduction @ 7

    And I have a mix of other batteries, also my friend said he could give me a kit of electrical components which (although cheap to get) would save us shipping time to get them, stuff like OP-AMP's and variable resistors and maybe others types of LED.

    Also, I don't think the glasses themselves nor the ear buds count as part of the product cost itself, they are just for the testing phase.

    In the mean time, we should probably do this for Friday:
    1. Start thinking of names for this product

    2. Think of an advertising strategy that doesn't cost much/anything, so maybe online and papers printed around campus

    3. Start doodling sketches in higher quality of what it will look like, maybe photoshop a "mock product" prototype (or if any of us can do some 3D/CAD stuff it'd be sweet to have a 3D model!)

  4. Would everyone be able to meet up earlier on Friday? I was planning on leaving for Thanksgiving at 3:30.

  5. Also, I don't think advertising is part of the assignment. We could still do it but from what I'm reading we are marked on our concept strength, documentation of the process, and the final product.

  6. I'm still in class till 3:20, but a 10 minute catch-up would be good. And I think advertising/prototyping counts as documentation of that process/concept.

    It's like how industries will show a video of what they "plan to do" or something "coming soon" before it's actually released. I'm not thinking so much of sales-adverts, but more like "a new technology is coming, and it's been sitting right on your nose this whole time".

    1. I finish at 2:20 so if you guys would like to meet earlier no problem

      I'm still planning on showing up at 4 pm on Friday,,,
      unless u guys tell me otherwise..

  7. I'm in class until 3:20 as well. If it's just for 10 mins I can meet up at 3:30 anywhere. Sorry I have to catch a ride home!

    1. its okay for me.. whatever suits u best
      Just make sure that Daven and Paul are ok with it too so we can all decide

  8. Yeah, I agree that we try and meet, where's your bus stop out of Mac? We can all try and meet there and just have a really quick discussion on what we'll be doing when we get back together next week.

  9. I'm catching a ride actually but if we met out front of Hedden Hall at 3:30 that would be amazing.

  10. Okay, sure, where's Hedden Hall?

    And also, I was sent some links on similar projects to ours, so it looks like the circuit shouldn't be too bad!




    I'll start testing these in electronics simulator software, then we can try assembling one together by next Friday I think! :)

    1. Ok, but I'm not sure where Hedden Hall either ><

      From what I know .. I think its all the way near one of the residence

  11. I just checked the links you added Daven

    Its looks pretty cool, can't wait to make our own ^.^ !