Have you had difficulty finding a quiet place to relax, or a restaurant to enjoy a good meal with friends without too much noise from the background? Sometimes the noise level of a venue can get too loud that a pleasant conversation is impossible. Here’s a mobile app that we have come across, during the ASA meeting in New Orleans held earlier this month, called SoundPrint that helps users locate quiet venues on map. Users can search keywords (Figure 1) or look directly on the map, venues are displayed with their decibel levels (Figure 2). The app categorises venues into quiet, moderate, loud and very loud areas, so users can easily find quiet or vibrant venues according to their preference. With the app, users can also measure the loudness of a venue in decibels (Figure 3), which contributes to the database of the app, and enables users to determine whether a venue is too loud or not (>80dB), to reflect to the manager for improvement.
Have you ever been to restaurants that are too noisy to stay long? Are there any restaurants that you want to go again because of its harmonious sonic environment? The many sounds you heard in a restaurant constitute the soundscape of it. The subjective feelings you have towards the soundscape is the most interesting part to study. Sounds in restaurants may not be noticeable most of the time, yet sounds stealthily affect us in different ways.
Why Soundscape Matters? – Dining is part and parcel of everyday life for urban folks. Restaurants nowadays are not only places to eat but a matter of lifestyle. Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore are well developed cities that pursue better quality of life. We care about the setting of a restaurant or the quality of food but seldom talk about the sonic environment of a restaurant. The sonic environment of a restaurant sets the atmosphere and the mood for diners to enjoy food. It is as part of the dining experience as the dishes, décor and customer service. The many possibilities in making better soundscapes can bring us to a new world of dining out experience.
What Can You Help? – If you are interested to contribute in improving the sonic environment of restaurants, you are cordially invited to participate in the research project by National University of Singapore, Macao Polytechnic Institute and DingDingSound HK. We are sorting out the major components in creating desirable soundscape in restaurants. We need your comments on various restaurants. The following questionnaire will take you about 5 minutes to complete. You can rate any restaurants you have been to for several aspects. Your reply will be of paramount value to our research and future design of soundscape in restaurants. Thank you for your time and assistance. If you have any question/ feedback, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chinese Questionnaire: http://bit.ly/2tsxcYz
English Questionnaire: http://bit.ly/2ubtcsv