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: