Innovation That Matters

Restaurant app | Photo source Pixabay

App informs customers of restaurant noise levels

Work & Lifestyle

Restaurant and cafe goers can choose establishments based on loudness ratings provided by an app.

There are a great number of apps that allow customers to review restaurants and cafes in different ways. For example, an app that provides wine recommendations and reviews when users scan bottle labels or wine lists. Another is an application which allows users to create videos of their dining experience. A new app, called iHEARu, takes a unique angle on restaurant reviews. Focusing on the noise levels in various establishments, it provides users with information about the quietest time to visit a particular place.

The company states that it seeks “to enhance social and communication opportunities for all. We are advocates for healthy hearing and have developed this tool as a way to create change. Together we can create and access ear-friendly spaces.” In order to achieve this, they have created a mobile app which uses crowdsourcing to gather information about noise levels. The app collects information on noise levels in restaurants, theatres, cafes and more.

iHEARu uses GPS in order to locate establishments and provides loudness ratings for them. The application features an ear symbol which refers to ear-friendly places. To qualify as ear-friendly, an establishment must have an average of four noise bars or less. Users can also indicate whether or not the staff in a particular location are happy to turn the volume down. Additionally, they can indicate where there are assistive listening systems available. The app uses mobile phone microphones to pick up the sound and convert this into a noise rating. This sound level measurement was tested in collaboration with NIOSH researchers. So far, the application is available for use in San Francisco, Paris, Sydney and Toronto.

This application has clear benefits for anyone concerned about their hearing. How else could restaurant reviews be adapted to suit specific needs?



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