Headline July 15, 2014



LIFE AND LIVING   -COMPUTING will overwhelm the world in the years to come,   -as computers continually shrink and shrink and shrink.

This might seem an odd thing to want to do, but:

Professor Chu-Hao-hua  and his colleagues at National Taiwan University believe there are uses for a device capable of   ''oral activity recognition''.   -in other words, monitoring such things as:

Chewing, drinking, speaking and coughing. In particular, it could have medical applications : recording the amount of cough caused by respiratory problems, for instance, or tracking:

How much munching someone does when he or she is supposed to be on a diet.

To test the idea, Dr Chou and his colleagues built a set of a tiny accelerometers, which measure movement. Eight volunteers had one of the devices fixed to a tooth with dental cement. They were then asked to do things like:

Coughing continuously, or drinking a bottle of water-while the time took measurements.    

The results were presented at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Zurich, and it showed that people talk and chew in different ways because the mouth and teeth are different.

However, if the system is trained, it can recognize what that mouth is doing 94% of the time.

NASA applies the same attention to detail on Earth, with stringent standards in its ground facilities, and introduced a :

" But Quiet "  procurement scheme in 2009.

A report on the program  from  2012  points out  that reducing noise in the workplace makes financial sense because as well as boosting productivity, it avoids compensation claims and medical costs.

NASA says this

Things can sometimes be too quiet, however.

Electric cars can be difficult to hear at low speeds,  which makes them dangerous to pedestrians and blind people.

In Chinese cities the danger comes not from electric cars or hybrid cars, but from very popular   -and almost silent-  electric bicycles, says-

Chipchase of  Frog Design, an innovation consultancy.

Earlier last year,  America's Department Of Transportation proposed new minimum sound requirements for electric and hybrid cars, which may require sound generators to be added to some vehicles.

The proposed rules prohibit users from using personalised,  downloadable  "vroomtones'', alas!.

Already the Renault Zoe,  an electric car, has a sound generator for use at low speeds, and the

Lexus IS 300h hybrid has an   "active sound control"  system designed to give its  four cylinder  engine  the sound of a  V6, even when cruising electric power.

A well engineered  ''noise signature''  improves the driving experience,  says Tomas Keppens,  a noise and vibration specialist at the Japanese carmaker.  

The addition of sound generators to cars is a good example:

Of how sound can provide vital cues in some products - the artificial camera-shutter sound made by digital cameras-

Or maybe carefully designed to convey quality  -the sound made when closing the door of an  ''expensive car".

The aim, then,  should not be  ''no sound''   but   ''the right sort of sound''.

By and large, though, that will usually mean making less rather than more noise.

With respectful dedication to the  ''advances of technology and science''.

With respectful dedication to the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Youth And Dreams "'

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice of the Voiceless


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