Ever longed for peace and quiet after toiling away in the office amid a cacophony of ear-piercing drill or sledgehammer sounds outside? An intelligent acoustic device by the Hamburg-based recalm start-up is now set to restore peace and quiet by tackling unwanted noise pollution. High noise volumes can cause chaos and send stress levels soaring resulting in serious, long-term bad health, studies have proven.
Active noise cancellation
The founders of recalm Marc von Elling, Martin Günther and Lukas Henkel have developed a more robust, smart algorithm based on artificial intelligence to cancel noise actively. The process requires two microphones, a loudspeaker and a microprocessor, which are built into e.g. a headrest on a seat in the driving cabin of a digger. Henkel told Hamburg News: “The microphone absorbs the noise and sends an electric signal to the microprocessor. An algorithm generates an anti-noise signal of opposite polarity via the loudspeaker and sends it to the noise source. The noise is eliminated by destructive interference.”
Making noise disappear
Active noise cancellation technology blocks out certain sounds. Noise disappears and acoustic signals indicating e.g. when a digger is reversing or a mobile phone is ringing are still audible. The trio behind recalm recently ended a stint in the Airbus BizLab Accelerator programme and have since moved to the Startup Dock at the University of Technology in Hamburg (TUHH) although the sequence is normally reversed. Founders in the Startup Dock usually seek a suitable accelerator or incubator first. Now, von Elling, Günther and Henkel are bringing valuable experiences to the Startup Dock.
Potential for forestry and agriculture
An EXIST grant will allow recalm to develop prototypes during the coming months. And the trio hope to launch the first tests with pilot customers next spring. Their product can be used in a wide range of applications such as aircraft seats, vacuum cleaners, kitchen hoods or outboard motors. However, the founders are focusing on machines used in forestry and agriculture initially. “We see enormous potential there because of the high noise levels,“ Henkel pointed out.