Smart windows

Published: Saturday 31 January 1998

And now a window to keep out aircraft noise. Fergus Fricke and Ramin Mohajeri at the University of Sydney, Australia, have developed a window that responds to the sound of an aircraft by shutting. When the noise falls below a threshold, the window opens again. The invention could be of immense use for those who live under the flight path of commercial aircraft. The window has a built-in software that identifies sound by recognising its characteristic frequencies. It does not respond to other sounds even if they are louder. Studies conducted at a house in Sydney showed that the window reduced noise inside a building by 20 decibels (New Scientist , Vol 156, No 2111).

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